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Albert Maltz 

Interviewed by Joel Gardner 


Completed under the auspices 

of the 

Oral History Program 

University of California 

Los Angeles 

Copyright (c) 19 83 
The Regents of the University of California 

This manuscript is hereby made available for research 
purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, 
including the right to publication, are reserved to the 
University Library of the University of California, 
Los Angeles. No part of the manuscript may be quoted 
for publication without the written permission of the 
University Librarian of the University of California, 
Los Angeles. 


TAPE NUMBER: XIV, Side One (November 8, 1978) 523 

The Cross and the Arrow — Moscow Strikes Back — 
Works on Seeds of Freedom — Destination Tokyo : 
Delmer Daves and Jerry Wald--Concentrates on 
writing novel when military draft looms — Angus 
Cameron of Little, Brown — Saved from the draft 
— Pride of the Marines . 

TAPE NUMBER: XIV, Side Two (November 15, 1978) 544 

A conversation with Jack Warner — Research for 
novel on Air Force experiments with Pentothal-- 
Mary Baker: a verbal agreement that worked — 
The Cross and the Arrow published and film 
possibilities discussed with Robert Rossen and 
Lewis Milestone: a verbal agreement that failed 
— Civic activities — Earl Browder shakes up classic 
Marxist tenets — Communist party disbands and 
becomes Communist Political Association — Maltz 
resumes research on Pentothal with Grinker and 
Spiegel — Agrees to do The Robe screenplay — 
Pride of the Marines opens to rave reviews — 
The House I Live In : Frank Sinatra. 

TAPE NUMBER: XV, Side One (November 15, 1978) 563 

Charlotta Bass, Beatrice Griffith — Charlie 
Chaplin's long-standing project — Political 
committees — OSS film with Milton Sperling — 
Cloak and Dagger — The Maltz controversy. 

TAPE NUMBER: XV, Side Two (November 21, 1978) 586 

Testimonials to the authenticity of The Cross 
and the Arrow — Churchill's iron curtain speech 
and the beginning of the cold war — Resumes work 
on Johnny Dragoo — Factory work and job monotony 
— Asked to write script for The Red House — 
Hitchhiker as inspiration for The Journey of 
Simon McKeever — Organizes western branch of 
Authors Guild in L.A. — Executive board of Arts, 
Sciences, and Professions Committee--Production 
complications with The Robe — Adrian Scott and 
Crossfire — Tracks down hitchhiker — Bright outlook 
for future. 


TAPE NUMBER: XVI, Side One (November 21, 1978) 606 

Truman Doctrine and loyalty oath — Premature 
antif ascism— Truman — Conference on Thought 
Control — HUAC investigation of motion picture 
industry begins — Motion Picture Alliance for 
the Preservation of American Ideals — Subpoenaed 
by HUAC — An open letter from the Unfriendly 

TAPE NUMBER: XVI, Side Two (November 29, 1978) 627 

Naked City — Mark Hellinger and Jules 
Dassin — History of HUAC — Nineteen formulate 
policy to oppose committee—Lawyers for the 
Nineteen map strategy—Committee for the First 
Amendment — Preparations in Washington on the 
eve of the hearings — Hearings begin. 

TAPE NUMBER: XVII, Side One (November 29, 1978) 648 

Hearings open — Friendly witnesses: Jack Warner, 
Sam Wood, Louis B. Mayer, John Charles Moffitt, 
James McGuinness, Lela Rogers — John Howard Lawson 
takes the stand, 

TAPE NUMBER: XVII, Side Two (November 29, 1978) 672 

Lawson: "It is a matter of public record" and 
"I am answering the question" — Public disapproval 
of Lawson* s approach — Committee for the First 
Amendment broadcasts — Maltz testifies before 
the Committee — Hearings called off after Lardner's 
testimony — Canada Lee — Speaking tours — Contempt 
citations — Waldorf statement and the blacklist — 
Hard times for the Ten. 

TAPE NUMBER: XVIII, Side One (December 8, 1978) 694 

Effects of the blacklist on family members — 
Fronts — Hellinger — Raising funds for defense 
of the Hollywood Ten — Campaign for public 
support — Hollywood on Trial by Gordon Kahn — 
Supporters — Herbert Biberman — Variety ad campaign 
— Confrontation with producers at the Screen 
Writers Guild meeting — Public reception: good 
and bad — Grand jury indictment, citation from 
Congress, booking — Arraignment in Washington, D.C. 
-- Naked City opens in New York — Political climate 
of the time. 


TAPE NUMBER: XVIII, Side Two (December 8, 1978) 713 

Individuals and organizations backing the Ten- 
Hotel Astor meeting--Dinner at Harvey's — J. Edgar 
Hoover — The role of the FBI — The Ten are convicted 
on the basis of the Lawson-Trumbo verdict — 
Hollywood peace conference — Dorothy Parker — Work 
on the unnamed f ilm--Finishes McKeever . 

TAPE NUMBER: XIX, Side One (December 18, 1978) 732 

"Unnamed" screenplay finished and sold — Testimonial 
for labor leader Paul Schnur — Lawson and Trumbo 
appeal — Alger Hiss case — Peekskill, New York — Sale 
of McKeever to Twentieth Century-Fox falls through 
— Extension of blacklist--Protest meeting at El 
Patio Theatre in Hollywood: "The Anti-American 
Conspiracy" — Marc Blitzstein — McKeever published 
--ASP peace conference at Waldorf Astoria Hotel-- 
With Burt Lancaster and Nick Cravat: "Circus Come 
to Town" — Amicus curiae appeal — Convictions of 
Lawson and Trumbo upheld — "Books on Trial in America" 
— Peter Maltz — USSR detonates atomic bomb — Another 
encounter with Robinson. 

TAPE NUMBER: XIX, Side Two (December 18, 1978) 753 

Amicus curiae — Income — Arrest of Klaus Fuchs — Supreme 
Court refuses to hear Hollywood Ten case — Fearful 
expectations concerning prison — Lawson and Trumbo 
surrender to authorities — Final ASP fund-raising rally 
— On the Eve of Prison — Robinson: no friend in need 
— Bernhard Stern — A tour of Washington — Thoughts on 
George Washington — I. F. Stone — Remainder of the Ten 
are sentenced and sent to prison. 

TAPE NUMBER: XX, Side One (December 18, 1978) 772 

McCarran Act — Entering prison — Prison layout — 
Eighteen days in Washington jail: basis for A Long 
Day in a Short Life — Ten dispersed across the country 
— Dmytryk and Maltz at Mill Point. 

TAPE NUMBER: XX, Side Two (December 18, 1978) 791 

Prison routine — Dmytryk, Howard Fast, Lyman Bradley — 
Material for a novel — The political scene: Rosenbergs 
arrested., McCarran Act passed — Hardest year of Maltz' s 
life — Irony of Watergate — Unnamed film released and 
critically acclaimed. 

TAPE NUMBER: XXI, Side One (December 22, 1978) 814 

Prison life — Release from prison — Move to Cuernavaca 
— DeVries — Dr. Ernesto Amann — A Long Day in a Short 
Life — Blacklisting continues — Thoughts on the Fifth 
Amendment — Maltz's name removed from credits on The 
Robe . 

TAPE NUMBER: XXI, Side Two (December 22, 1978) 831 

Response to "What Makes a Hollywood Communist" — 
Falling out with Dmytryk — Cuernavaca — David Siqueiros 
and Diego Rivera — American political scene — Herman 
Wouk tragedy—American Communists "agitating" in 
Mexico — Inmigrante status — Expatriates in Cuernavaca 

— "The Whiskey Men." 

TAPE NUMBER: XXII, Side One (December 22, 1978) 849 

Clifford Odets — Robinson — Rosenbergs convicted, Maltz 
sends letters to nuclear scientists — "Graylist" — 
Saturday Evening Post article on the Reds in Mexico 
— Margaret Larkin Maltz's Seven Shares in a Gold Mine 

— Czech show trials—Attacks on Salt of the Earth — 
Rosenbergs executed — Philip Dunne credited on The 
Robe — B. Traven — Charles and Berthe Small — After 
numerous rejections by American publishers, sends 
novel to International Publishers — Personal philosophy 
during and after the blacklist years. 

TAPE NUMBER: XXII, Side Two (January 3, 1979) 869 

Severity of the blacklist — Rivera — The Judgment 
of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg — Investigation of 
Sobell kidnapping — Maxim Lieber moves to Poland 
— Khrushchev's secret report: philosophical shake- 
up in Communist ranks — Catholicism — First film 
work since 1949 — Alfred and Martha Stern. 

TAPE NUMBER: XXIII, Side One (January 3, 1979) 889 

The Sterns — A Time magazine article filled with 
errors — Kidnapping two expatriates, solidarity 
in the leftist community — Silver Nutmeg — A Long 
Day in a Short Life published — Rivera's death — 
Spartacus — First visit to U.S. since 1951: pass- 
port difficulties — Students' strikes in Mexico 
City attributed to agitation by American Reds: 
John Bright, Allan Lewis, Bernard Blasenheim 
deported — Remaining briefly in the U.S. — Oscar 
Lewis — More passport troubles. 


TAPE NUMBER: XXIII, Side Two (January 3, 1979) 911 

Passport troubles — Ingo and Otto Preminger and 
Exodus — Tour of Europe and Israel — Margaret agrees 
to write about Kibbutz Yad Mordechai — War damage 
in East Berlin — Stefym Heym — Earl Robinson, Joris 
Ivens, Fania Fenelon — Erzi Sz£kely and Kathy — 
Mann in Leipzig — Concentration camps--Prague : 
Hans and Puck Burger — Frantistek Vrba — Warsaw. 

TAPE NUMBER: XXIV, Side One (January 9, 1979) 933 

Moscow — Lev Kopelev and Raya Orlova — Cameron and 
Corliss Lamont: Soviet policy regarding royalties 
— Paul Robeson in London—Fania Fenelon — To Israel 
to research Exodus — The hazards of traveling — 
Otto Preminger replaces Maltz with Trumbo — Fran]; 
Sinatra and The Execution of Private Slovik — 
Delays on Slovik and Nutmeg . 

TAPE NUMBER: XXIV, Side Two (January 9, 1979) 955 

Sinatra fires Maltz — Press and Congress respond to 
the hiring of blacklisted writers — Overzealous left- 
wing lawyers — Returns to book on Fenelon — Auschwitz 
— Myths about concentration camps and Jewish behavior 
— "Julian Silva" wins a literary prize — A Tale of One 
January — Screen adaptation of Bridge in the Jungle 
— Margaret finishes The Six Days of Yad Mordechai — 
Divorce — Italy — Silver Nutmeg falls through — "In 
January '64 I signed a film contract under my own 
name for the first time since 1946." 

TAPE NUMBER: XXV, Side One (January 9, 1979) 977 

Comparing "two periods of my writing life" — Marriage 
to Rosemary Wylde (1964-68) — Marriage to Esther 
Goldstein Engelberg (1969) — Correspondence with 
Greek dissidents — Dassin and Melina Mercouri — 
Resuming residence in the U.S. — Less political 
activity, more writing — A Soviet return to Stalinist 
oppression — Letter to the New York Times — Maltz 
blacklisted in Soviet Union — Prague Spring and 
anti-Semitism in Poland, 

TAPE NUMBER: XXV [Video session] (January 26, 1979), , , .994 

Two Mules for Sister Sara , The Beguiled , and Scalawag — 
A Tale of One January and Hochhuth's The Deputy — 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: a "Russian Foster Dulles" — 


Limited opportunities for publishing short stories 
— Revival of interest in the Hollywood Ten — Conflict 
with Blankfort — Trumbo's Laurel Award address — 
Dispute with Trumbo--The death of friends — A 
suggested epitaph. 

Index 1015 


November 8, 19 78 

MALTZ: I had to postpone that project, and although 
I didn't know it at the time, it turned out to be forever. 
And I turned to the material that was to become my 
second novel, The Cross and the Arrow . 

The Cross and the Arrow in a way began from an 
intellectual concern of mine. At that time in the war 
there were a great many people who accepted the attitude 
of an Englishman, Lord [Nicholas] Vansittart, I believe 
(I'm not sure of the spelling), who argued that there was 
something in the nature of the German people that had 
led them to make war in 1870 and in 1914 and again in 1939, 
and that as a people they were destined always to be war 
makers, and that therefore, when the war was over and the 
Allies had won, the Germans had to be curbed forever in 
such ways that they could never again make a war. Now, 
without denying what the Nazi war machine had done (and I 
would say, in parentheses, although at that time we did 
not know of the existence of the death camps in Europe, 
we did know of enough atrocities to be horrified) , it 
was nevertheless counter to all of my beliefs as a Marxist 
to accept that there was something genetically in the 
nature of the German people which destined them always to 
be war makers. Marxism repudiates racism of any kind. 


And so I had been giving a good deal of time to thinking 
on this question and to reading about it, and it was 
the intellectual platform from which my novel began to 
evolve . 

However, before I went to work on it I worked on a 
voluntary basis for a week and a half on something that 
was quite fascinating, a documentary short film called 
Moscow Strikes Back . This was tremendously vivid footage 
taken by Russian combat photographers in the tremendous 
battle which had seen the Soviet forces throw back the 
Nazi armies in front of Moscow, and it was the first 
defeat that the Nazis had suffered in the war. However, 
the footage was somewhat random, and the commentary that 
they had sent did not fit properly: there was no unity 
to the commentary and the scenes . But there was enough 
there for me to go to work on it. And it was a new experience 
for me to work with a moviola. I would sit all day and 
most evenings running the film back and forth and, using 
their commentary as a guide, write my own commentary. 
So that I took the somewhat scattered footage and unified 
it and tied it together by my commentary, and it came out 
as a whole. It was a very successful job. Edward G. Robinson 
was brought in to read the commentary, which he did very 
well, and it was released immediately and played very widely. 
It later received an Academy award for distinctive achieve- 
ment in documentaries . 


From the middle of June until the middle of October 
I worked on The Cross and the Arrow , which I conceived 
first as a novelette. When I finished it, however, I 
did not submit it to my publisher because, first, my 
wife was very critical of it and I respected her opinion; 
and then I took it East, where I had other friends read 
it. I didn't go East for that purpose but for another, 
but I used the opportunity, and their analysis and comments 
about the novelette made me see its possibilities as a 
larger work. And I decided to reconceive it. 

My trip East came about because I had been offered 
a very special film job. Some refugee from Europe, a 
film man, wanted to take the famous Eisenstein movie 
Potemkin and add a frame to it so that it would be told 
in a contemporary setting, and he wanted to dub it, the 
dialogue, into English so that it could be shown widely 
in theaters in the United States. And he offered the 
magnificent sum of $600 a week for me, and I was very 
happy to take it and very fascinated to try and do the 
job. I worked on it for about four and a half weeks and 
did the work, but it never did find much of a market. 
GARDNER: That's very interesting because. . . . 
MALTZ: It was called Seeds of Freedom , by the way. 
GARDNER: Right. That's very interesting because in 
looking through the Times reviews of your films, the 


Times is very enthusiastic about much of the film, but 

it played at the Stanley, I believe — didn't it?--which 

is not [inaudible] New York. 

MALTZ : I have no idea. 

GARDNER: But they said that the writing by Albert Maltz 

has strength and heart. I don't know whether you recall 

that or not. 

MALTZ: No, I don't. I don't believe I kept any reviews 

of it or saw any. Well, of course, Potemkin is a fine 

film, and I believe I've seen it recently on TV, and I 

don't know in the entire history of movies a more graphic 

cinema scene than the . . . 

GARDNER: The Odessa steps? 

MALTZ: . . . the Odessa steps scene. That is just an 

incredible piece of cinema making. I know nothing that 

I think surpasses it, and I don't know if anything equals 

it. Just extraordinary. 

I then returned to Los Angeles and worked at reconceiving 
The Cross and the Arrow . My agent arranged for another 
leave of absence for me from Paramount and I worked through 
'til March of 194 3 on the novel. At that time Paramount 
did what was a custom in the film industry: they loaned 
me to Warner Brothers, which paid $500 a week to Paramount 
while Paramount continued paying me $300. [laughter] 
And this was for a novel called Deep Valley , which was 


interesting material and was designed for Humphrey Bogart 
and Ida Lupino and involved, I know, a big forest fire. 

Now, due to what was going on, I had now a real fear 
that I would be inducted into the army before I had 
been able to finish the novel. And so I set up a work 
procedure which was one in which I worked intensively 
on my screenplay from the moment I arrived at the studio, 
which was ten o'clock in the morning (I was in a car 
pool with other writers) , and I would finish the amount 
of work expected of a writer, which was a certain number 
of pages a day, by about one o'clock or two o'clock. 
From then on, after lunch I would work on my novel. And 
I proceeded to discourage, with success, the kind of 
visiting that writers tended to do in studios where they 
would go from office to office for a chat. I also 
avoided lunch at the writers' table in Warner Brothers, 
which was full of very bright, fast-talking men like 
Phil and Julius Epstein, and others, who would keep the 
jokes going. I would go out after I finished the screen 
work and go to a lunch room where the grips and others 
ate and nobody was there I knew, and I would be able to 
eat lunch and read something. Then I would take a walk, 
a short walk, around the studio's grounds, and then I'd 
go back and work on my novel. I kept this up for two 
months, but then before it was completed I was switched 


to work on the film Destination Tokyo . . . . 

GARDNER: Before you get into that — because I know you're 

going to have a lot to say about that film--in working 

on The Cross and the Arrow , were you the sort of novelist 

who had the whole thing mapped out? You had the complete 

structure and filled in, scene by scene, as you would have 

in the play? 

MALTZ: Well, no, not as detailed as a play, but I 

always did plan. I would plan out the general story; I 

would plan out individual scenes; I would plan out 

characterization. I had to do research for The Cross and 

the Arrow , but that was not too difficult. I might say, 

since it comes up at this moment, that people have asked 

me how it was that I could write about Germany in that 

period. Well, I limited my book — my book took place in, 

I believe, the summer of 194 2. Now, there had been 

American reporters in Germany as late as December 5, 1941, 

and they had written about it. Then there were Swedish 

and other neutral reporters in Germany after the summer 

of '42, and they wrote about it while I was still working 

on my novel. There were also very useful sources in 

religious magazines, interdenominational, which had 

representatives in Germany who would meet from time to time 

in Switzerland, where they would publish monthly reports 

on what was going on in Germany. So that, with one exception, 


it proved that my facts were accurate, and I found this 
out later when my book was published in Germany--the 
work was accurate. 

In addition, I myself, out of my own cultural background, 
was able to write about the German scene which I had 
visited in Germany, although never really lived there, 
never lived there, but I was able to write about it with 
a sense of feeling I was writing truthfully in a way that 
I would not have been if I had, let's say, tried to write 
about Sweden. I just felt that way. And also, I had 
known Germans and I had known German refugees, and the 
material was at hand. I also had the assistance of a 
former member of the Nazi party who had come here as an 
exchange student and had remained here because he didn't 
want to continue on in Germany, and he told me a great 
deal about the structure of the Nazi party, so that I 
knew that and the thinking of Nazi party members, about 
which I asked him; he was a man whose sister was married 
to a Jew . 

GARDNER: What was his name? 

MALTZ : His name is Peter Pohlenz, very nice man, and 
his sister and brother-in-law were on the St. Louis , 
which was in the film . . . 
GARDNER: The Voyage of the Damned ? 
MALTZ: . . . The Voyage of the Damned . They were landed 


finally in Holland and, when the Germans came, were 
in a concentration camp—or they were put into a 
concentration camp by the Germans. But they survived. 

So that I had the materials I needed to work on this 
book. I did plan, and planned very carefully, but at the 
same time--and this is true of plays too--new ideas would 
come in the course of writing, and I would follow the new 
ideas if they seemed to me right. But I was not one of 
those writers--and there are some--who have just a main 
idea and begin writing immediately without any planning. 
I have such a friend, and she can write 700 pages and then 
she says, "Now I'll look at it and see what kind of a book 
I want to write." Then she may cut it down to 400 and 
change it, and so on. I don't work that way. 
GARDNER: Fine. Destination Tokyo . . . . 

MALTZ : Yes, I was called in to work on Destination Tokyo 
by Jerry Wald, who had known my work and had, I found out, 
tried to buy the short story "Happiest Man on Earth" 
because he thought he could make a feature film out of it. 
And the film script of Destination Tokyo had been written 
by a writer now directing his first film, Delmer Daves. 
It was based upon an idea, a short treatment by someone 
else, and Daves had gone up to a submarine base in the 
San Francisco area and gotten all of the technical 
material and had written a story that hung together. But 


as Jerry Wald said, and Daves agreed, it lacked certain 
dramatic qualities, it lacked certain characterization, it 
lacked certain things in content. And Wald had asked 
that I be put on it. I read the material and made 
suggestions as to what I might do to it, and this was 
accepted by both of them. 

I might say about them that Jerry Wald was a man 
who probably had only completed high school. He was very 
much a New Yorker character — a New York City character 
who had been one of the people who submitted things to 
Walter Winchell. He had come out as a writer in some 
way or another and had been one of Ben Hecht's "boys" 
whom Hecht had doing first drafts of scripts for him, 
which he would later rewrite. And Wald had become a 
writer and had done some work, but then had become a 
producer, which was his real field because he was a man 
with a superabundance of ideas, some of them excellent, 
some not, but he was always churning. He sought to do 
good dramatic and important material. He had taste. 
And he was a prodigious worker. And if a writer had 
enough self-confidence to say to him, "That's good and 
that's bad," then the two could get along very well; 
if the writer was lacking in confidence, then that would 
be bad because, inwardly, Wald was also lacking in confidence, 
and he would get very anxious then. But I worked very 
well with Wald and liked him. 


Delmer Daves was a man of very different quality. 
He had graduated from Stanford. He had become an attorney 
but had then gone into film work. He was a man of many 
interests, a photographer, metallurgist, he had studied 
art, and he was, on the whole, excellent to work with. 

Destination Tokyo , at the time I came on it, had 
a shooting date and the leading actors were already cast — 
Cary Grant and John Garfield. And so I had to abandon 
work on my novel, and I worked on Destination Tokyo 
evenings as well as days. The rewrite took four weeks 
and went into production immediately. One example of 
content which I supplied and which made for a useful 
piece of characterization, and for drama, was interesting-- 
is an interesting example of what I said earlier, that 
writers write out of what they are. 

There was a scene in Destination Tokyo in which, when 
the submarine is somewhere in the Aleutian Islands, I 
believe, above water, waiting to make contact with a 
plane that will bring to it some special officer who has 
a special mission to perform, the submarine is attacked 
by a Japanese bomber. And although the plane is shot 
down, a bomb lodges in the body of the submarine and does 
not explode. Now, I'm not absolutely positive of this, 
but I think it was something like this. The Japanese 
pilot. ... I don't want to go into this anymore because I 
may be in error, and I don't want to bother to read the script, 


but I can just say this: a character played by Dane Clark, 
by something he did, fell into strong disfavor with the 
other members of the crew, and these two events--the bomb 
in the body of the submarine, and the character—give some 
examples of, first, what I did on the script and, second, 
of a political point that I was going to make. In the 
case of the bomb in the body of the plane, Daves had so 
written it that the captain sent a young, slender sailor 
who could wedge himself into a certain narrow area and 
get out the fuse of the bomb, because without that there 
was danger that it would explode at any moment. But 
in the Daves script the audience didn't see this happen. 
I changed it so that we saw the scene and we saw the man 
going in and we saw the bomb, and it dramatized the danger. 
And, at a given moment, he started to turn the fuse the 
wrong way, and the captain said, "No, counterclockwise!" 
or "Clockwise!" or something like that. And the guy 
said, "Yes, sir, I said it wrong but I knew the right 
way to do it." And the whole crew — we dwelt on the 
tension in the crew, because it was life or death if 
he got that fuse out. So that that was a way of taking 
something that happened off scene and making it dramatic 
by putting it on scene. But secondly, the character 
played by Dane Clark at a given moment says, in effect, 
"You want to know why I did what I did?" And he proceeded 


to talk about the fact that he was Greek and that he 
had an uncle who was killed by the Nazis, who was a 
professor, a brainy man, an educated man, not like him, 
and he was killed because the Nazis didn't want there 
to be any thinking people in the countries they conquered, 
and that's the kind of people they were, and that's why 
he did what he did. And so his saying that was dramatic, 
and it changed the attitude of the other men on the crew 
toward him. But I could write that because of my under- 
standing of what had gone on, of what was going on in 
the war . . . 
GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ : . . . whereas someone else with a different 
understanding would not have thought of that. 
GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ: And that's a good example. 
GARDNER: An interesting point. 

MALTZ: When that rewrite was finished, I returned to 
the Deep Valley film and to part-time work on my novel. 
And it was during this time that my Paramount contract 
came to an end, and Warner Brothers now started to pay 
me the $500 that it'd been paying to Paramount. In the 
last days of August I got notice from my draft board 
to take my physical for induction. I did it and passed 
it, and I had just enough money saved to finish the book, 


and I refused an offer that Jerry Wald gave me to write 
what later became Pride of the Marines . This was a very 
fine piece of material that I'll discuss later, in 
spite of its awful title. And I know he was very 
upset with me for that because that project was dear to 
him, but I tried to explain that I had to finish my 
novel, and I went off. I then went to work on the novel 
every day and every evening of the week. 

At that time I asked for a leave of absence from 
party branch meetings. That was necessary because, 
while people missed meetings for one reason or another, 
if they missed them for a succession of meetings without 
any explanation, the branch chairman would always want 
to know why and would pay a visit. And I explained why 
and the matter went up higher, and then I had a session 
with Jack Lawson in which he felt I should not take a 
leave of absence, that it was not a good thing to do, 
that it was a bad precedent and so on. And he had a 
phrase that used to exasperate the hell out of me: 
he would say, "You can do that as well as go to branch 
meetings. It's all a matter of how you organize your 
time." If you said to him, "I don't have time to do 
this and this and this," he'd say, "It's all a matter 
of how you organize your time." And with that little 
magic wand, he presumably settled everything. And I 


just said, "No, I'm not going to go to branch meetings," 
and it became such an issue that I was summoned to a 
meeting downtown where the Los Angeles Communist party 
functioned. I don't know any longer whom I met with-- 
there were three or four people as well as Lawson— and 
they just did everything to persuade me, and I said, 
"No, I want to finish this book and I may be inducted," 
and so on, and I just held to my position. So far as 
I recall, they held to theirs, but there was nothing 
they were going to do about it. They didn't want to 
expel me for that and so I didn't go to branch meetings. 
There was an interesting example of Lawson 's rigidity 
in this. 

And by the end of '43 I did receive an induction 
notice from my draft board with a January date, and this 
came just about the time I had finished the novel and 
sent it off to my publisher. [tape recorder turned off] 
In January 1944 I went to Boston to see my editor, 
Angus Cameron, about my novel. I think I might pause 
for a moment to talk about Cameron. 

He was generally acknowledged at that time to be 
one of the best editors in publishing. He was a 
vice-president of Little, Brown, and we were friends 
as well as having a professional relationship. It is 
interesting that after the blacklist came along, Cameron's 


position did not protect him from being booted out of 

Little, Brown and Company because he refused to stop 

certain political activities that he had been carrying 

on. Cameron was a very, very bright and thoughtful 

man who combined with his sagacity as an editor a great 

love of hunting and fishing and of the outdoors, and 

I understand that when at times things might get too 

high- pressured for him in his work, he would simply 

leave and be found next in Idaho or Canada with a gun 

or a reel in his hand. In any instance, Cameron liked 

my book but had suggestions that I accepted for cutting 

and revisions, and I then immediately went to New York 

City to see my draft board in Queens. 

GARDNER: Let me just interject for a second. Who were 

some of the other writers . . . 

MALTZ: At Little, Brown? 

GARDNER: . . . that Angus Cameron dealt with? 

MALTZ: Oh, that Angus dealt with? 

GARDNER: Would you know, offhand? 

MALTZ: I would. Let's turn off a second while I think 

of the names. [tape recorder turned off] To answer 

your question. . . . 

GARDNER: I don't think your. . . . [tape recorder 

turned off] 

MALTZ: Thank you. Little, Brown and Company was one 


of the most successful publishing firms in the country. 
It was based in Boston. Among the authors that Cameron 
would have dealt with at that time were A.J. Cronin, 
James Hilton, John P. Marquand, Howard Fast . . . they 
were a big-selling house. 

I went to the draft board because of the fact that 
I'd received notice of induction. I explained that I 
had a novel on which I'd spent a great deal of time 
and that I had six weeks of revisions that needed to 
be made. I told them that I was completely ready to 
go into service and was not in any way trying to evade 
service, but I asked for the six weeks of extension and 
this was given to me . I was told that I would get 
another notice as soon as the six weeks were up. 

I returned to Los Angeles immediately, rewriting 
in the compartment on the train, and I finished the 
revisions in time and started to arrange my personal 
affairs for leaving for service. But just then a 
new regulation went into effect limiting draftees to 
the age of twenty-nine, and since I was thirty-five, 
that meant that there would be no military service for 
me. [tape recorder turned off] 

Destination Tokyo had opened in New York, just 
when I was there, to wonderful press notices. It was 
listed as one of the ten best films of 1944 by Crowther 


of the New York Times , and it did very well at the box 

office. I finished the manuscript of-- When I finished 

the manuscript of The Cross and the Arrow , I returned 

immediately to Warner Brothers to work on the story of 

Al Schmid, the blind marine, which Jerry Wald was 

producing . 

GARDNER: Had he given you the. . . ? 

MALTZ : Wald had wanted me to do this film before I 

left Warner's to work on The Cross and the Arrow in 

October of the previous year, but I had refused it. 

He had put another writer on the story in the interim, 

and a screenplay had been written, but Wald was not 

satisfied with it. And I was very glad to go back 

to the project because the material was wonderful. 

It concerned a very average young factory worker living 

in Philadelphia who had joined the marines in a burst of 

unthinking patriotism immediately after Pearl Harbor, 

and who had fought very bravely and been decorated 

in the battle of Guadalcanal, but who had been blinded. 

And when that happened, he had few resources to fall 

back on, facing his life. And since his patriotism had 

been really one of unthinking enthusiasm, he was not 

ready to pay the price that some men have to pay in 

wartime. (I will mention that my salary went to $600 

a week at this time, and I will keep mentioning what 


happened in that area as we go along.) I worked very 
hard on the story and finished a screenplay by mid-August. 

Since the House Committee on Un-American Activities 
raised the phony charge that Communists had been putting 
subversive material into films, I think it is worthwhile 
to pause over one scene in Destination — in Pride of the 
Marines (which became the title of this Al Schmid story) 
because, of any scene in the film, this is one where 
critics might have said, "That's where Maltz tried to 
get in some propaganda." It was a scene in a base hospital 
in San Diego where soldiers, recovering from wounds, 
were in a room where billiards--where pool was being 
played, and they began to talk about their anxieties in 
reference to returning to civilian life. They wondered 
whether there would be jobs for them, and they wondered 
what the country was going to be like, and so on. There's 
no question but that it was a scene with very direct 
political overtones. Now, this was a scene that I had 
not had in my screenplay, but Jerry Wald had suggested 
the scene to me because he felt that the film needed to 
say things about the contemporary scene. And I resisted 
putting it in because I felt that it would have a flavor 
of political propaganda that was not germane to the 
story of Al Schmid. But Jerry kept insisting on it and 
finally I said, "Well, I'll take a crack at writing a 


scene, and let's see how it is after I've finished it." 

When I finished it, Jerry said, "I like it and I want 

it in." And, as I recall, I was hesitant, but I just 

went along with him. And this is, I think, an amusing 

example of . . . 

GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ : ... of the opposite of what HUAC was saying. 

Jerry and I had a constant running battle with executives 

of the studio over the title. We suggested different 

titles, but the people in the studio in charge of exhibiting 

remembered only the fact that Pride of the Yankees had 

been a successful film, and therefore they wanted to 

call this Pride of the Marines . And finally they won 

out, and that ghastly title, I think, has been an impediment 

to general reaction to the film down the years. Although 

it was very well received at the time, exceedingly well 

received, I don't think that it has received the position 

it should have as a film of merit — just because the title 

is so obnoxious. 

GARDNER: What would you have preferred? 

MALTZ: Oh, I don't remember now any longer, but not a 

kind of a martial title like that, which makes it seem 

like the second half of a bill, you know, just dealing 

with bang-bang marines in the Halls of Montezuma, and 

so on . 


GARDNER: Did you get to know the actors and so on who 

worked in the film? Garfield was in this one. 

MALTZ: They were people I knew. Garfield, John Garfield, 

had had his first part in a play in Peace on Earth . 

GARDNER: Right. Right. 

MALTZ: And I knew Garfield from all down the years, but 

never intimately. He was not one of my real friends. 

GARDNER: But did you associate while filming the. . . ? 

MALTZ: No, I wasn't there in the filming. I just went 

out. ... It was all done by Delmer Daves, the director, 

and I went out once to watch a scene being shot. Dane Clark 

was an actor I knew from New York, and we were friendly, 

but in a casual way. At that time it was most unusual 

for writers to be present when a film was being shot. 

The fact is that unless there was a very special reason, 

the studio didn't want to pay them, and the director usually 

didn't even want them around. . . . [tape recorder 

turned off] 

I think I would like to mention several things about 
this film. It has only one battle scene in it; and just 
accepting the verdict of the reviewers, it was an extra- 
ordinarily intense scene and one that gave a very true 
feeling of battle. Now, I had never been in a war 
situation, and I was not capable of imagining the particular 
quality that that scene had which made it so very effective. 


This was the fact that two men working a machine gun — 
Al Schmid, with his hand on the trigger, and Diamond 
(I forget his first name) , feeding the machine, the belt 
of cartridges into the gun--talked at a tremendous rate 
while firing. Especially Schmid. I got this from a 
marine officer, a Major Aronson, who had been in the 
battle of Guadalcanal and who was assigned to me when I 
was writing the screenplay. He told me that soldiers in 
combat are at such a pitch of excitement that frequently 
they do talk aloud at a great rate of speed and intensity. 
And that was how I wrote the scene, and that was how 
Daves directed it, and it came off with great effectiveness. 
(There was a sad note that Aronson, who had been decorated 
for his action in Guadalcanal, where he was a spotter, 
an artillery spotter in a small plane that went over the 
Japanese lines, committed suicide several months after 
he worked with me.) 

Something that I need to mention is a small conversation 
between Jack Warner, the owner of the--or the head of the 
studio, and myself on the night that the film was previewed. 
I had a small conversational relationship with Warner. . . . 


NOVEMBER 15, 19 7 8 

GARDNER: Your conversation with Jack Warner. 
MALTZ: Yes, with Warner. Because during the time I was 
working on Pride of the Marines , Jerry Wald on a number 
of occasions had taken me to the executive dining room for 
lunch. Warner always presided over that table. And 
after the preview there was a discussion in the office 
of the theater, as there always was after the preview of 
a film, and then I went down to the men's room, where I 
was joined a few seconds later by Jack Warner. As we 
stood side by side, he commented about a scene in the 
film which he said he was very glad to see in it. This 
was a scene in a train compartment when Al Schmid and his 
buddy Diamond were on their way back East after their 
discharge from the hospital in San Diego. Diamond had 
had a shoulder wound from which he had recovered, and 
Schmid, of course, was blind, and miserable at the thought 
of going back to the area he had been brought up in, 
where he would no longer be able to see anything, and 
terribly anxious over the impending reunion with his girl. 
In an attempt to get Schmid to look at things a little 
differently, Diamond (whose first name was Lee, I recall, 
and who, by the way, was a real man who came from Boston, 
I believe) said to Schmid that he wasn't the only man in 


the world who had problems — that his was a terrible 
problem, but he wasn't alone in that. For instance, 
he, Diamond, was worried over what kind of work he would 
get, that there were limitations on the kind of work 
he could get because of his name, the fact that he was 
Jewish. Warner said to me that he was so glad I had 
that scene in the film, and that he always had it in 
mind that if he had not been born in the United States, he 
might now be a cake of soap. Now, I've mentioned this 
because of the testimony that Warner gave when he was on 
the stand in Washington in 1947, approximately two and 
a half years later — no, three years later, in which he 
lied about this very scene. 

Jerry Wald wanted me to go on immediately to another 
piece of material he had which became the film Mildred Pierce , 
which was very successful, but I again wanted to get back 
to work on fiction, and I left the studio. In that year 
my wife and I bought the house in which we'd been living 
and paying rent at about $75 a month, if I recall properly. 
The house cost $10,500, and it was recently priced for 
$137,000, [laughter] which gives a good example of what 
has happened over the years. It was a three-bedroom house 
with a small lawn in front and a little larger lawn in 
back, and about ten feet from our neighbors on each side. 
It worked fine for us and the children, and had very little 


upkeep. (I don't think I have mentioned that in 1942 

we had adopted a second child, a girl.) For the rest of 

1944, with the exception of a six-week interval, I worked 

on research for a new novel. 

I had been given a classified document on the 
treatment of combat fatigue in North Africa by the use 
of the drug pentathol. This work was being done by 
two psychoanalysts attached to the air force, Roy Grinker 
and John Spiegel. The material excited me very much, and 
I began to plan a novel around it. The six-week exception 
to my steady work was six weeks of work on a film called 
G.I. Joe where my salary went to $1,200 a week. The 
producer, Lester Cowan, was extremely uncertain about 
his screenplay and wanted me to write an opening frame 
about events before the main story. When I studied 
the material, I told him that the film would be long 
enough as it was, and I was sure he wouldn't use any 
frame; but he was insistent that he wanted it, and 
I was perfectly willing to write it. Subsequently, the 
frame was never used. 

During this period, and from now on until I was 
blacklisted about three years later, I got steady offers 
of film work which my agent, Mary Baker, automatically 
turned down. She was a woman I liked very much and 
respected, and she was very good at her job. Other agents 


would have tried by one device or another to get me to 
drop my fiction in order to take film jobs from which 
they would get a commission. But Mary Baker never did 
this. And I appreciated it. I might say that we had a 
relationship from the time I first came out to Hollywood 
without ever signing a contract. 

The Cross and the Arrow was published in September 1944 
[tape recorder turned off] On the whole, the reviews 
were very, very good. In the daily New York Times . . . . 
What is this? Excuse me, sorry. . . . [tape recorder 
turned off] Orville Prescott in the daily New York Times 
wrote: "Maltz has achieved a new stature. The Cross and 
the Arrow is written with fire and fury, but the breadth 
of its sympathies and the scope of its vision of humanity 
are not confined within a narrow pattern." Whicher in 
the daily He raid- Tribune wrote: "Elements of a powerful 
psychological detective story and of a deeply spiritual 
probing into the degeneration of Germany under Nazi 
rule are combined in an example of serious fiction at 
its very best by Albert Maltz. Mr. Maltz has taken a 
theme of central importance to our time and treated it with 
a large-minded wisdom that can never go out of date. Few 
novels offer a greater reward than this." In the Sunday 
Tribune . . . . Hold it. Sorry. [tape recorder turned 
off] There were excellent reviews in the Sunday Tribune 


and in the Boston Herald , the New Yorker magazine, Chicago 

papers, San Francisco, Harper ' s magazine, and so on. 

There were, however, certain reviews that argued with my 

interpretation of events in Germany. And then there were 

some what I would call middling reviews, and there were 

several bad ones--one by Diana Trilling in the Nation 

and by Porter in the New Republic . 

GARDNER: On what grounds, for the bad reviews? 

MALTZ: Well, if I can find . . . 

GARDNER: If it's trouble don't worry. 

MALTZ: . . . Diana Trilling's . . . Diana Trilling never 

liked anything I ever wrote. And I think just on pure 

political grounds she found the way to put it. . . . 

Oh, yes, she said, for instance: "But although The Cross 

and the Arrow is not without excitement, it is the kind 

of excitement that makes me feel used, as if I had been 

made to keep a death watch over someone with whom I 

had no vital connection. And Mr. Maltz's characters 

are either unconvincingly simple or unconvincingly 

complex . " 

GARDNER: Interesting. [laughter] Whatever it means. 

MALTZ: The book began to sell, and its word of mouth 

was very good, and the publisher, as a result, began 

to advertise it. There were excellent quotes to use, 

such as the ones I quoted. Its hardback sale in the first 


year was 22,000 copies, which fell just short of getting 
it on the best-seller list, which would have been useful. 
And there was a curious little wrinkle to this. At the 
end of February 1945 Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a column 
about it. At that time I happened to be in a hotel in 
Florida, where I was doing some research, and I know 
everybody in the hotel rushed out to get a copy of the 
book. I'm sure other people in the country who admired 
Eleanor Roosevelt would have wanted to buy the book, but 
the book was not to be found in any stores because it 
had been taken by a new book club called The Book Find 
Club as its, I think, its first choice at its beginning. 
The club had used the printing plates of Little, Brown and 
Company, and when it shipped them back, they had been 
shipped to an incorrect address. So there was a period 
of about eight weeks in which there were no copies of the 
novel in any bookstore in the United States. And that 
was just when Eleanor Roosevelt's column appeared. 
GARDNER: Masterpiece of timing. [laughter] 
MALTZ : Yes. There was also, in addition to the book-club 
sale of 36,000 copies, there was a special Sundial edition of 
10,000, and then an armed forces edition of 140,000 for 
soldiers. The novel was not published abroad, of course, 
until after the war, and it has had some fifteen foreign 
editions, followed by paperback editions in England, 
Denmark, East Germany, Hungary, Holland, and China. 


It has been continuously in print in some countries 

in the world since it was published. And it has had 

radio and TV dramatizations in England and a good many 

other countries. 

GARDNER: Was there any thought of filming? 

MALTZ : I'm going to come into that. 

GARDNER: Oh, okay. I always anticipate you. 

MALTZ: In the fall — Well, you're with it. [laughter] 

In the fall there was an offer to buy the novel to make 

a film by two very distinguished filmmakers: Lewis Milestone, 

the director, and Robert Rossen, who at that time had not 

yet become a director but was a very successful screenwriter. 

They offered, I think, $30,000 or $40,000 for the novel, 

with a percentage of the profits. And this was very 

exciting to me for financial reasons: a sum of money like 

that would have meant that I would be able to write my 

new novel without stopping at all to do film work, 

because the sale of the book itself had returned gross 

royalties of less than $10,000. Now, a sale of 22,000 

hardback copies nowadays would return much more because 

books sell for much more, but I believe the price of 

my novel was $2.50 at that time. And I was constantly 

hoping for the day when I would be free of all film work. 

Now, the agreement with Rossen and Milestone was a 
verbal agreement: we met in my agent's office and shook 


hands, and this was the way in which business has always 
been transacted in Hollywood. Verbal deals are absolute 
and are not changed, because the actual written contracts 
sometimes takes months before the lawyers have them 
prepared, and there would be no way in which things could 
be bought and sold unless people could trust one another's 
words. So that when a month or two later Universal Pictures 
offered 50,000 [dollars] for the book, we turned it down. 
But then the contracts never came through from Rossen and 
Milestone, and I didn't know at that time that they had 
had Ingrid Bergman in mind to play the woman in the film 
and that she had turned down the role. And apparently they 
were not successful in getting the private financing they 
had hoped for, and, as a result, they each started to blame 
the other for not producing the contracts. Finally, after 
months of their lying, it became clear that they were 
welching on the deal. This was generally unheard of and 
I was furious. I discussed suing them with an attorney 
but took his advice that it would not be worth my while 
to go through everything that would be involved. 

I think I might mention that when it was published 
in Germany after the war I learned that I had one error 
of fact in it which was a significant error. As is 
generally known, millions of men and women from other 
countries were taken forcibly into Germany (or, in some cases, 


they volunteered; but usually it was forcibly) for work 

in factories and on farms, and this was in fact slave 

labor, unpaid slave labor. I had stated in my novel 

that in a farming area foreign workers had been put up 

on an auction block and had been bid for by farmers. 

I wrote this because in my research in religious magazines 

I had come across this in an article. But in fact it 

was an error; it never happened. What did happen was that 

local authorities sent out to farmers the number of workers 

that they needed, foreign workers that they needed on their 

farms, and the farmers had absolute power over those 

workers . 

But aside from this, the book was sound, and it was 
very widely printed in Germany — in East Germany, this was. 
By a peculiar happenstance, when I signed the contract for 
Germany, I thought it was a publishing firm in the West, 
but it turned out to be one in the East; and because of 
the division between the two countries, once it was published 
in the East, the eastern publisher would not give rights 
to the West because they hoped to sell it to the West. 
This book has sold, all in all, close to 700,000 copies to 

Now, during 1944 among some of my civic activities were 
the following. I was one of the speakers at a public rally 
to support the Roosevelt-Truman ticket, and I remember that 


on election day I drove elderly people in Santa Monica and 
Venice to their polling places. I no longer remember how 
it came about, but I wrote a documentary film about 
New York City for the Office of War Information. It was 
never made and that's all I remember about it. I also 
attended a number of secret meetings called by a representative 
of the State Department, I believe, or it could have been 
the Office of War Information or some other official organi- 
zation, to discuss the reeducation of the German people. 
And I guess after a while there was a decision to go another 
way with it, and there were no more meetings. Of course, 
throughout the war years I attended public meetings, contributed 
funds to the Red Cross and Russian War Relief, bought war 
bonds, and followed the events of the war with intense 
concern, anxiety, and sorrow. 

In '45 there was a very important change in the Communist 
party. In late '43 there had been a meeting in Tehran of 
Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill, and in mid-1944 a book 
appeared by Earl Browder, the secretary of the Communist 
party, called To Tehran and Back .* In it he presented the 
thesis that progressive tendencies existed within capitalism 
that allowed for a peaceful development in the world toward 
socialism. Browder "used the agreement Stalin concluded 
with Roosevelt and Churchill ... as the point of departure 

♦Tehran: Our Path in War and Peace 


for his thesis that the wartime collaboration would extend 
into the postwar world," and that this "collaboration could 
be and should be reinforced with class harmony on the 
domestic scene." I should have said that the quotation 
above was from Al Richmond's book, A Long View . . . 
GARDNER: . . . from the Left 

MALTZ : A Long View from the Left . Thank you. I, like 
every other member of the Communist party, read the book 
and discussed it. It didn't seem to me, and to quite a 
number I talked with, that Browder's thesis had any connection 
with the classic Marxist literature that had nourished us. 
Classic Marxist analysis rested upon the thesis that there 
was an inevitable class struggle in capitalism between 
the owners of the means of production and the workers whose 
labor power they exploited. Moreover, classical Marxism 
believed that capitalism was an outmoded economic system 
and carried within it the seeds of its own destruction, 
that it was the opposite of a progressive system. We also 
had believed that German fascism was precisely the mani- 
festation of a dying capitalism seeking to perpetuate its 
rule. Now, this difference between the substance of Browder's 
book and what we had hitherto believed was no mere theoretical 
matter to be left in the realm of theory: very important 
practical decisions flowed from it. 

We in the rank and file of the party did not know 
the struggle that was going on in the national leadership 


in which William Z. Foster, who had been the secretary of 
the party until he had had a very serious heart attack 
some years before, was leading the fight against Browder. 
Browder won out, and Foster remained silent so that he 
would not be expelled for factionalism and because he felt 
that the party would get back on the track sooner or later. 
The practical result was a decision in May 1944--no, it 
couldn't have been May . . . 
GARDNER: Forty-five. 

MALTZ : . . . May '45, yes ... to disband the Communist 
party and substitute for it a Communist Political Association 
which would be a kind of a loyal opposition to the American 
capitalist establishment. The perspective for the future 
would be Communist Political Association clubs or branches 
like those, let's say, of the Democratic party. And the 
concept that capitalism was a dying system that. . . . No, 
let's pause for a moment, I want to rephrase that. [tape 
recorder turned off] And the concept that there was an 
inevitable class struggle in American society, as in any 
capitalist society, would have to be eliminated. Now, I've 
been giving this very briefly because there's no reason to 
spend a lot of time on it. What is important is that I, 
like a lot of others, had great respect for Browder, and 
so I just said to myself, well, I don't really see this; 
I don't agree with it but I'll go along with it. So I 


joined the Communist Political Association. Interestingly 
enough, I remember the house in which I signed up. It 
was the house of Nicholas Bela, who was one of the few 
foreign-born members of the Hollywood Communist party and 
who later became an informer. Oh, no--I said '45 and I'm 
wrong, when I gave the date of the changeover from the 
Communist Political Association. It was . . . 
GARDNER: It was '4 4? 

MALTZ : . . . '44, yes. It was '44. In January 1945 I 
decided that I wanted to see the work being done by Grinker 
and Spiegel, who were now at an air force hospital on the 
west coast of Florida, north of St. Petersburg. Warner 
Brothers helped me get to the Pentagon, where I saw the 
head of the armed--of the, I guess, air force medical service, 
a General Grant who was a descendant of Ulysses Grant, and 
arrangements were made for me to go to this hospital. It 
was adjacent to a small hotel, and I was there in February 
and March, and I got the material that I wanted. I not 
only talked with the physicians I've mentioned and others 
but I was permitted to sit in behind a screen and listen 
to and observe a number of different pentathol treatments, 
which were enormously dramatic. 

Pentathol, of course, is a drug that is used in surgery 
nowadays, and it puts patients out of consciousness altogether 
But when used in smaller doses it has a kind of hypnotic 


effect, and the psychiatrists there were using it in order 
to have patients relive — with the, as it were, the calming 
and soothing and interpretative help of a doctor--those 
events in battle, in combat, that had resulted in their 
getting what was then called combat fatigue. Men who had 
become too nervous to fly anymore, men who had various 
psychosomatic difficulties such as the inability to eat, 
loss of hearing, loss of vision, and who had been completely 
healthy or, let's say, had been functioning in a healthy 
manner before certain traumatic events, were greatly helped 
by this treatment. And I listened to men recount fearful 
experiences, and cry and scream while under pentathol, and 
then, after they emerged from its effect, the psychiatrist 
was there to discuss it with them and to help them adjust 
to what had happened, to accept it and to relieve them of 
their emotional problems. 

Now, before I went down to the air force hospital, I 
had had an interview with a film producer, Frank Ross. 
He had purchased a best-selling novel, The Robe , and he 
had three or four screenplays written on it and had not 
been satisfied with any of them, and he asked me to go to 
work on it. I told him that I was going off to do the 
research and would not interrupt it for film work, and I 
knew that at this time there were almost daily film offers 
coming in for me. But while I was away in Florida, the sale of 


The Cross and the Arrow to Rossen and Milestone. . . . The 
fact that the sale was not going to go through became clear, 
and at the same time, close to the end of my stay I got a 
telegram from Ross offering me 1,000 [dollars] a week to 
work on The Robe . When I went back, I got in touch with 
him and read the novel and decided that there was material 
in it that I could use to make a screenplay that would be 
interesting. I talked about what I would do with it with 
Ross, and I saw in it, let's say, the profound social 
phenomenon that was Jesus and the effect that he had on 
that world, and Ross accepted my stipulation that I wouldn't 
write any scene that supported religious mysticism; that 
is, I would give a psychological interpretation of the 
effect of the robe on characters, but I would not endow 
the robe of Jesus with mystical properties. And I also 
wanted to set Jesus in his proper historical frame as one 
of a long line of Galilean preachers who had come out of 
Galilee trying to reform the spiritual life of the Jewish 
people. Ross accepted these provisos and we worked 
extremely well together. He was a man of taste and 
intelligence and an extremely nice human being. It was a 
very big project. It required a good deal of research, and 
I worked eight months on it until my screenplay was finished 

In August of '45 Pride of the Marines opened. The 
reviews were magnificent, and it was again named by the 


New York Times as one of the ten best of the year. And I 
was nominated for an Academy award for the screenplay, but 
didn't get it. The writers of Lost Weekend did. 

I was on a special project for just a week or so in 
that year and that was The House I Live In , which came 
about in a curious way. Soon after I went to work on 
The Robe , I was invited with Frank Ross to the home of 
a man who at that time was going to direct it, Mervyn Le Roy, 
and Frank Sinatra was there for supper. During the evening, 
Sinatra began to talk about the work that he had been 
doing, from the time he was still unknown, about racial 
prejudice. He has always been deeply concerned about 
race prejudice, and he used to go around to high schools 
talking to children about it. And he. . . .1 forget now 
whether it was he or Frank Ross who made the suggestion 
that it would be awfully good if we could do something 
about it on film. The next morning Frank Ross came to me, 
and he had an idea for a short film, in which Sinatra 
could perform, which would say something about racial 
prejudice. I thought it was a good idea and sat down on it 
and developed a story that would take about one reel and 
would involve Sinatra's scene. And because of my friendship 
with Earl Robinson, I knew the song for which Earl had written 
the music which was called "The House I Live In." 
GARDNER: I don't think you previously mentioned that 
friendship with Earl Robinson. 


MALTZ: Well, I haven't mentioned my friendship with a lot 

of people I know. 

GARDNER: Well, as long as Earl Robinson is brought in now, 

it might be interesting for you to mention how you got to 

know him . . . 

MALTZ: Well, I. . . . 

GARDNER: . . . and something about him, since he's not very 

well known. 

MALTZ: Oh, I see. He isn't [well known] now; he was at one 


GARDNER: Exactly. 

MALTZ: Yes, perhaps Earl is a good example of what can 

happen with people's reputations. Earl was a man from the 

Seattle area who had a real gift for, I would say, lovely 

ballad music and first came to my attention in New York in 

the late thirties as the composer of "Ballad for Americans," 

the words of which had been written by a man called 

John LaTouche who also did some Broadway musicals. It was 

sung by Paul Robeson in its first performance and was an 

enormous success— so much so that within the same year, I 

think, the Republicans asked for it to be sung at their 

presidential convention. And it was played again and 

again on radio. Subsequently, Robinson wrote the music to 

words written by Millard Lampell for "The Lonesome Train" 

which was enormously successful and I think very beautiful. 


Both the Ballad for Americans and "The Lonesome Train" are 

pieces that I myself enjoy playing at least once a year, 

and have all down the years. And Earl did other such works. 

He was a very well-known man, and I met him, I think, only 

when he came out to Hollywood looking for some film work 

for the same reason I had come out, and we became warm friends, 

I knew about his song "The House I Live In," for which words 

had been written by. . . . [tape recorder turned off] 

The words to "The House I Live In" were written by a man 

whose pen name I forget for the moment [Lewis Allan] . 

His real name was I Abel] Meeropol . He also wrote the 

words to the song "Strange Fruit ,"• which Billie Holiday made 

so famous. And it was he and his wife who, in the early 

fifties, adopted the two orphaned sons of Julius and Ethel 

Rosenberg . 

The song fitted the concept of the one-act film 
beautifully, and it made an excellent title for it, and 
this was acceptable to Ross, and to Sinatra, and to Mervyn 
Le Roy. All of us did what we did without remuneration, 
of course, and RKO got hold of film for it (since film had 
to come through government allocation) , and it subsequently 
played for years and years in schools all over the country. 
It was initially released to 20,000 schools, and it was played 
on the Paramount, Warner, and RKO chains, and it got a special 
Academy award. 


GARDNER: What exactly was your role in that? 

MALTZ: I wrote it. 

GARDNER: You wrote it. You wrote the whole thing . . . 

in a week? 

MALTZ: Oh, less than a week. It was just a short thing 

I don't think it was any longer. 


NOVEMBER 15, 19 7 8 

GARDNER: Return to 1945. 

MALTZ: Yes, I ought to mention that this was the beginning 
of a cordial relationship between Sinatra and myself in 
which we would see each other on a social basis. And 
there would be phone calls on one matter or another. I 
mention it because of what happened in 1960 with a film 
project that he wanted me to do when I was still on the 

Somewhere in this period, in 1945, I had a discussion 
with a Major Winston and with the former head of the German 
film company UFA, a refugee whose name I cannot recall. 
Winston was somehow associated with this man in civilian 
life and they wanted to do The Cross and the Arrow as the 
first film in a reconstituted Germany. And this, of course, 
was very exciting to me. 

My records turn up some examples of my civic activities 
in 1945. I made a speech at a Negro church on the role 
of the Negro troops in the Civil War. My doing this was 
probably the result of a friendship I had with a Mrs. Charlotta 
Bass, publisher of a black newspaper, the [ California ] Eagle . 
I no longer recall how I got to be friends with her, but 
I know that I saw her rather a number of times and met her 


nephew, whom she wanted to succeed her as editor of the 
paper and who, sadly, was killed in the war. I also spent 
a lot of time working with a young woman, Beatrice Griffith, 
on a book that was subsequently published called American Me . 
She was working with Chicanos at that time and had an 
extraordinary command of their way of talking English and 
of their psychology. And this was one of the writers I 
worked with who did get a book published. 

I remember in passing, worth relating I think, a 
very amusing evening at the Russian consulate to which I 
was invited, and the other guests there, besides my wife 
and myself, were Theodore Dreiser and his wife, and 
Charles Chaplin and his rather new bride Oona . In the 
course of the evening, Dreiser got very drunk and Chaplin 
began to tell a story--tell about a project that excited 
me enormously. He wanted to do a film, he said, about 
the Haymarket martyrs (I won't go into who they were for 
this) , and he spoke with great passion and eloquence about 
the beauty of the moment when one of them, [Louis] Lingg, 
committed suicide by putting a percussion cap between his 
teeth and biting it. And as Chaplin told this story, 
Dreiser kept saying, "That's it kid, go ahead kid, I'm with 
you kid." [laughter] And in subsequent days, when I 
happened to tell certain friends about this, among them 
were some who knew Chaplin rather well, and they told me that 


he had been talking about this project for years and that 
he was never going to do it. [laughter] 

My records also turn up that I was part of a Screen 
Writers Guild public discussion in a theater in Westwood 
about the new film Tomorrow the World ; that I attended 
a dinner of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee at 
which Paul Robeson and General Evans Carlson spoke; and 
that, because of my novel, I was asked to lecture on the 
German question, and I did so for discussion groups or in 
public lectures on April 29, May 12, 20, 23, June 10, 
July 7 (and at that point I had a note that I was plagued 
by requests to speak) . Oh, yes, I see that on May 17 I 
had dinner at Warner Brothers Studio with Jerry Wald and 
Jack Warner and Delmer Daves, and then we went to Huntington 
Park for the preview of Pride of the Marines that I've 
already mentioned. There were, of course, always [Screen] 
Writers Guild meetings which I attended. And there were 
meetings with the Hollywood Writers Mobilization and one 
with the Lawyers Guild on war criminals. I have a note 
that I spent all one afternoon reading Richard Wright's 
Black Boy , and made the notation that, to me, it was one of 
the great personal documents in all literature, and I 
despised the left-wing criticisms of it. That has relevance 
because of the thing I 'm going to come to about the "Maltz 
controversy." And during this period, Warner Brothers 


offered me a contract of six months on and six months off 
each year, and I rejected it because I didn't want to be 
on contract to anyone. 

GARDNER: How much would it have paid? 

MALTZ: I don't remember what they would have paid, but I 
have .... 

GARDNER: If they would have wanted to keep that updated . . 
MALTZ: Yes, I will have that updated in a moment. 

MALTZ: On October 17 I was down to a meeting of the board 
of education with others to protest their allowing Gerald K. 
Smith to speak in a school auditorium. And my position 
has changed now: I would let the bastard speak. [laughter] 
GARDNER: Well, wasn't that the incident in which Al Wirin 
fought in the courts to allow him to speak, and then he 
and Lauren Miller picketed outside? 

MALTZ: It may well have been. It may well have been, yes. 
I see that I made a speech in the Embassy Auditorium down- 
town which was sponsored by the Jewish People's Fraternal 
Order on the opening of a million-dollar rehabilitation 
drive for Jews in all lands. 

By the middle of November, when I had finished my work 
on The Robe , I went to work on the novel for which I had 
done research at the air force hospital. My overall story 
was that of a factory worker who had gone into service and 


had broken down in combat. He would be treated in a 
hospital, would recover, and then, going home, would 
become a union organizer. I wanted to follow his career. 
And as I worked on it I knew that I wanted to do some 
factory work as part of my research because I had never 
done any in my life. On December 15 I had a note in a 
diary that I was keeping at the time that I refused an 
offer of $75,000 from Milton Sperling to work on a film 
having to do with the OSS [Office of Strategic Services] . 
But I did tell him, because he was so insistent, that I 
wouldn't take any other film job without letting him have 
a chance to bid for me. Now, since I had started four and 
a half years back with a salary that would be the equivalent 
of $7,500 for a complete film, this was an enormous leap 
in the pay I could command. 

I worked through the fall on the novel, and then in 
January Frank Capra, whom I had not known, asked to see 
me and I did meet with him. He wanted me to work on 
some material which I read, and I didn't want to; I wanted 
to keep working on my novel, and I had enough money to 
carry me for perhaps four, five, six months, I don't recall 
anymore. But he was very insistent, and I finally came 
to a decision that I would ask a salary so high that he 
would certainly reject it. But if he took it, it would be 
worth my while to interrupt the novel to do it. But there 


was the promise I had made to Sperling, and so my agent 
told Frank Capra what the situation was and said that 
Sperling would have to have the first right. But she 
asked him for $5,000 a week for me, and he said, "You've 
got it," and then she said the same thing to Sperling, and 
he said "You've got it." [laughter] And so I did go to 
work with Sperling on this OSS material. Fritz Lang was 
the director and Gary Cooper was the leading actor, and, 
very regrettably, they had a production date on it, which 
is a terrible way in which to begin to work on a screenplay. 
GARDNER: He was already cast? Gary Cooper was already cast 
at the time. . . ? 

MALTZ : He was already cast. He was already cast, yes. 
And Ring Lardner was already at work on the script. And 
I worked for some time separately from Ring. I had been 
led to believe that both Sperling and Lang wanted to make 
an important film out of this material, which was just 
material. But after a few weeks I realized that what they 
wanted to make was a melodrama with a patina of importance, 
and I told Milton — I felt very frustrated with the material 
as I worked at it, and I told Milton that I wanted to quit. 
GARDNER: Before you continue, let me just ask you: what 
was the project that Capra had in mind for you? 
MALTZ: I forget what it was. I forget what Capra had. . . 
GARDNER: I just wondered if it was something with people. . 


MALTZ : I think it was a fantasy film, I'm not sure. But 
I'm not sure. And Milton Sperling, whom I liked as a 
person, asked me please not to leave, not to leave them 
without a script when the shooting date was so near. And 
I stayed on it, although I regretted afterwards that I had. 
When finally a script came together, putting together the 
work of Ring and myself, I felt that it was a very mediocre 
script, and indeed the film turned out that way. It's time 
now. I come now to what has become known as the "Maltz 
controversy . " 

GARDNER: Before you get into the controversy, let me just 
make one or two comments about Cloak and Dagger . 
MALTZ: Oh, yes. 

GARDNER: As I mentioned to you last week, it was the one 
script that I was able to find at UCLA. And I also found 
several commentaries on it and various books of criticism. 
The major criticism seems to be that it had the potential 
to be an outstanding spy thriller, one of the best, but 
the love theme sort of ended up pushing that aside. What 
is your comment? Do you have any comment on that? 
MALTZ: Well, you know, I really can't comment on that 
because I don't remember the film well enough. I have not 
seen it in these years of viewing old films on TV. I've 
not seen it. I don't remember the script; I haven't reread 
it so that I can't comment. 



GARDNER: Okay, I just wondered. You've really pushed 

that one aside, haven't you? 

MALTZ : Yes, it's certainly not something I wanted to 

look at again. 

GARDNER: Okay, okay. Then the "Maltz controversy. ..." 

MALTZ: In late October '45 an article appeared in the 

New Masses that commanded my attention. It was written by 

one of the editors, Isidor Schneider, and was entitled 

"Probing Writers' Problems." It invited discussion and 

I immediately wanted to respond to it. For a long time 

I had had growing opposition to what I considered the narrow, 

vulgar manner in which the Communist party slogan Art Is A 

Weapon was interpreted. I also carried a burden of 

resentment at some of the ridiculous criticism I had read 

in the New Masses and the Daily Worker —literary criticism, 

I mean. So in spare time I wrote an article that the 

magazine subsequently entitled "What Shall We Ask of Writers?" 

and it was published in the New Masses on February 12, 1946. 

It so happened that the article appeared at a time when 

the Communist party was in a state of ferment, a state that 

was close to frenzy, actually, and I have to go back a year 

to explain this. 

Around May 1945 the Daily Worker printed an article 
written in the form of a letter from a leading French 
Communist, Jacques Duclos. In it he sharply and fundamentally 


condemned the Browder theories that had led to the 
dissolution of the Communist party and the creation of the 
Communist Political--C .P . I . ? What? Communist Political . . 
I thought it was Communist Political Association. . . . 
GARDNER: So did I. 
MALTZ: Well, maybe it's a . . . 
GARDNER: International? 

MALTZ: No, not international. Must be C.P.A. It was 
obvious that Duclos was not speaking as an individual. 
He was voicing not only the opinion of the French Communist 
party, which had come through the war with enormous 
prestige and growth, but the opinion of Moscow as well. 
Open discussion started at once in the Daily Worker with 
Foster attacking Browder's revisionism, as did others. 
Some months later, the national leadership dropped Browder 
from all posts and called for the dissolution of the 
Communist Political Association and the reconstitution 
of the Communist party. This decision, however, didn't 
end the turmoil in the party. A drive started to cleanse 
party thinking of all manifestations of Browderism. 
Finally Browder himself was expelled from the party at a 
meeting of the national leadership in February 1946. This 
meeting happened to coincide with the publication of my 
article. And one of the top leaders, Robert Thompson 
(who, incidentally, was a decorated hero of World War II) , 


jumped with both feet on my little contribution to a 
literary discussion, denouncing it as, quote, a "smear 

Trotskyite article," closed quote. Since anything that 
smacked of the doctrines of Leon Trotsky was anathema 
to all members of the Stalinist Communist party, this 
raised my article to a political level far different from 
the one on which I thought I was writing. Instead of my 
being a participant in a discussion limited to the pages 
of a magazine and to writers, critics, and readers, I had 
become, for the entire Communist party, an example of a 
cultural Typhoid Mary. [laughter] I was the advocate 
of Trotskyite aberrations, Browderite revisionism, 
anti-working-class and antiparty doctrines that had to 
be exposed and refuted. A series of six articles immediately 
appeared in the Daily Worker by Sam Sillen analyzing 
my article point by point and arguing that it was un-Marxist, 
unsound, liberal, bourgeois thinking. Sillen was a former 
instructor in English at New York University who had become 
a full-time critic and editor in the communist movement. 
We had been near-neighbors and cordial friends in my last 
several years in New York. He was one of those who had 
been creatively helpful in discussing with me the first 
version of The Cross and the Arrow in 1942. There was 
nothing personal in Sillen's attack: it was a sincere, 
sharp discussion of Marxist theory. Very different were 


two articles by Michael Gold. He announced that I had 
succumbed to Hollywood corruption and was now deserting 
the cause of the working class, and so on. I wrote him a 
furious letter, which he proceeded to use against me in 
the same slanderous manner. Late in the month Howard Fast 
attacked my article in the New Masses . 

Now, it is not my purpose in this history to go into 
the ideological discussions that went on. What I do want 
to set down here is what I felt about the hammer blows I 
was receiving and why I wrote the second article as I did. 
I had never considered myself to be a theoretical sage. 
Far from it. Therefore I didn't feel that in my first 
article I had laid down the ten commandments which I now 
had to defend as I would my honor. My self-respect was 
involved with something quite different: with a desire to 
think my way through all of the arguments to a position 
of clarity if I could achieve that. And this desire was 
strengthened by several factors: first, by my study of 
philosophy at college and the training it gave me in trying 
to be rigorous about my own thinking; second, by the very 
strong insistence in Marxist literature, and in the practice 
of the Communist parties, of the need to listen to criticism 
sincerely and to accept it if it is merited. It was an 
ideal that I respected deeply. In addition, by this time 
in my life, if not always before, it was not a devastating 


blow to my ego to acknowledge that I had made a mistake. 

For these reasons, as I read and listened to arguments 
against my article that went on for a month, and included 
party meetings also, I came to feel that I had made various 
assertions that weren't sound within the orbit of Marxist 
philosophy. In the final analysis, however, despite my 
intentions, it was not primarily with my intellect that I 
wrote my second article. It was largely written by my 
emotions. Once my article was made into a major political 
issue of the entire Communist party, I was automatically 
faced with the choice of being expelled from the party or 
of accepting the criticisms and repudiating those funda- 
mental positions in my article that were under attack. 
I didn't perceive then what I realized subsequently: 
that I was as incapable of calm, analytic thought as a 
shell-shocked soldier under artillery bombardment in the 
front line. Above everything else, it was a matter of 
my conscience and self-respect not to leave the party. 
Since it was so, it inevitably dominated and shaped 
everything I tried to formulate intellectually. 

The second article I wrote came about because the 
New Masses offered me space to continue the discussion. 
Undoubtedly the party leadership had been consulted beforehand 
It already knew from reports from the L.A. leaders that 
I was not taking an intransigent position. To the 


contrary, at a meeting toward the end of February, which 
was chaired by Sam Sillen who had been sent out by New York 
to join in the discussions out here, I listened to some 
very abrasive remarks by various party members. 
GARDNER: Do you care to name them? 

MALTZ : No, I wouldn't go into names. Without accepting 
their strictures at that time, I nevertheless made clear 
that my article had not been the result of any attempt on 
my part to consciously attack fundamental party doctrine. 
Until the middle of March all of my working hours were 
necessarily devoted to intensive labor on Cloak and Dagger . 
After that I started to write the second article, with 
Sam Sillen at my elbow. In the state I was in, it was 
impossible for me to write with a calm and analytical mind. 
Since my overwhelming emotional need was to remain in the 
party, I repudiated many things in my first article. 

Hostile critics broke out in a chorus of agreement 
that I had recanted like cultural figures in the Soviet Union 
when they were called to account for having strayed from 
the Stalinist line. This comparison has come down the 
years, but it was, and is, superficial and inaccurate. 
The Soviet citizens who recanted had done so out of fear. 
The easiest thing in the world was to leave the American 
Communist party. It had no power to harm me or anyone. 
Indeed, hundreds and thousands of Americans joined it and 


left it between 1920 and 1950. Actually, if I had chosen 

to leave the Communist party and to defend every comma 

of my first article, those same critics, with the same 

superficiality, would have called me a brave fellow and 

an honest soul, and the editors of Life magazine, Reader ' s 

Digest , and Saturday Evening Post would have come running 

to me with checkbook in hand. However ineptly or embarrassingly 

expressed, my second article was one of conscience and 

fundamental loyalty to an ideal. I wanted to remain linked 

to the movement that represented, in my eyes at that time, 

the hope of mankind for a decent future. My integrity 

depended upon that and not on the Tightness of my first 

article as a whole or in any part. Unfortunately, I was 

not at that time able to state any of this. To have 

acknowledged party membership would have meant the end of 

my ability to work in films. 

GARDNER: Really! At that point? 

MALTZ : Oh, at that point without any question. There was 

no open Communist writing in films. There was not one 

studio who would have had a Communist one hour . . . 

GARDNER: Really! 

MALTZ: . . . if he had acknowledged this; he would have 

been off instantly and automatically blacklisted. Nor 

could I acknowledge it a year and a half later when the 

blacklist came because then political conditions made it 

impossible . 


Now, this controversy was written about in Newsweek , 
Time , the New Republic , the Saturday Review of Literature , 
the New Leader , and other magazines, and has been mentioned 
in not a few books since, with the same false identification 
between my act and that of a Soviet writer in the Stalin 
period. It has been written about not only superficially 
but also absurdly. For instance, Garry Wills referred to it 
in his introduction to Lillian Hellman's Scoundrel Time , 
published in 1976. He wrote: "Maltz was called to account 
for his deviations--typically , at a cell meeting in a 
Hollywood nightclub." It is truly astonishing to find 
that a serious social analyst and political thinker has 
swallowed the prevailing myths about Hollywood so completely 
that he has even invented one of his own. [laughter] 
He might be forgiven if he had only borrowed someone 
else's nonsense. But in the thirty years between 1946 
and 19 76 I never read in the testimony of any informer 
a reference to a Communist party meeting in a nightclub, 
and I never saw any reference to it in a magazine or 
newspaper or even by an imaginative Hearst columnist. It 
remained for Mr. Wills to invent it. I have wondered 
why he didn't add that I listened to my critics with 
one hand holding a glass of champagne and the other on 
a starlet's thigh. [laughter] Now, I have a bibliography 
that I thought I might put on this. 


GARDNER: Fine. Sure, that would be good. 

MALTZ: Of the printed materials of the controversy, 

there was first the article by Isidor Schneider in the 

New Masses , "Probing Writers' Problems." This was on 

October 23, the issue of October 23, '45; my article in the 

issue of February 12, '46, "What Shall We Ask of Writers?"; 

in the same issue another article by Schneider, "Background 

to Error"; and then in the Daily Worker , six articles 

appearing February 11 through 16, 1946, called "Which Way 

Left-wing Literature?" I said Sam Sillen, didn't I? Yes. 

In the Daily Worker , Michael Gold, columns on February 12, '46, 

February 23, and March 2, March 16; Howard Fast in the 

New Masses , February 26, '46; Joseph North--now, I don't 

know whether North is the New Masses or the Daily Worker . 

GARDNER: The New Masses . It was the same issue as the 


MALTZ: Ah, February 26, '46. A.B. Magil in the Daily Worker , 

March 1, '46. Alvah Bessie in the New Masses , March 12, 1946; 

Sonora Babb in the New Masses on March 12, '46; John Howard 

Lawson in the New Masses in March 19, '46, with an article 

entitled "Art Is a Weapon"; and then I, again, with an 

article "Moving Forward," in April 9, 1946; Sam Sillen in 

the Daily Worker , on April 14, 1946, "Better Politics 

and Better Art"; and on the twenty-first, in the Daily 

Worker , by Sillen, "The Basis of Social Realism"; James T. 

Farrell in the New Republic, on May 6, '46, and May 13; 


the Saturday Review , in July 16, '49, . . . I know that 
it's discussed in a book by a man, David Shannon, I believe 
The Decline of American Communism , and discussed in 
Daniel Aaron's Writers on the Left . Murray Kempton in 
Part of Our Time discusses it in a chapter called "The Day 
of the Locust." It is discussed in The Inquisition in 
Hollywood by Larry Ceplair and Steven Englund, and in other 
places. Now, do you have any questions about this? 
GARDNER: Yes, I certainly do. [laughter] Well, since I 
read through the material yesterday, there were a number 
of questions. I think the first question I should offer 
is what your thoughts are now on the material as literary 
criticisms . 

MALTZ: I can't tell you. And I can't tell you for a 
number of reasons: the first is that I actually haven't 
sat down to try and say, well, now, who was right and 
wrong on what pieces and so on; and secondly, I am not, 
as it were, steeped in Marxist thinking, or in an effort 
to do Marxist thinking, in the way I was in those years. 
In those years I believed in the soundness of Marxism, 
and I wanted very much to try and think in a dialectical 
manner, and I read Marxist materials. I haven't really 
read Marxist materials now since . . . well, it's twenty 
years. And not only that, but while I retain a belief 
in the classic ideals of Marxism — namely, human brotherhood, 


a lack of exploitation of man by man--I no longer believe 

that the body of Marxist literature is the sound thinking 

that I once thought it was. For instance, I now laugh 

at the phrase "scientific socialism" because in a world 

in which the Soviet Union opposes China, the Soviet Union 

versus Yugoslavia . . . China opposing Vietnam, etcetera, 

ad infinitum, and all of them claiming to be scientific 

Marxists, it demonstrates the absurdity of the phrase. 

And so I'm not prepared to assess this. 

GARDNER: Okay. Well, one of the phrases I wrote down from 

your first article was the one that was picked up, of course, 

by Lawson later — where you say, "Art is a weapon only 

when it is art." Do you still agree with that? 

MALTZ: Oh, I would agree with that, yes. Although — yes, 

sure, sure I would agree with that. . . . 

GARDNER: Because it seems awfully simple on its surface. 

It seemed to me also (and you touched on this briefly) 

that part of the reason for the controversy was the moment, 

the time, but also the fact that what aggravated it was 

that two of the writers that you picked were at that moment 

anathema to the party, namely, Farrell and Wright. 

MALTZ: Yes. Well, see I was — One thing I could have 

done in the second article, which I didn't do and I 

regret this, I could have said (in the second article), 

now look, whatever we say about Farrell and so on, 


Studs Lonigan was praised by the Daily Worker and the 

New Masses when it appeared. The book has not been 

revised. If it was good then, why isn't it good now? 

I liked it then, I like it now. And the same about 

Wright. But I was so punchy, really, that even that I 

let go. You know, I kept fumbling the ball, as it were. 

GARDNER: Yes. Howard Fast called you a liquidationist . 

What does that mean? 

MALTZ: Well, as that term was used, it means that you, let's 

say, dissolve away the Marxism, or you dissolve away a 

Communist position or a Marxist position or a class-struggle 

position--that ' s what he meant. 

GARDNER: I see. Since he later on recanted, rather 

vocally, his entire Marxist position, in the book 

The Naked God . . . . 

MALTZ: Well, that was. . . . See, he didn't . . . he, 

let's say, didn't recant, as the term is used; he changed 

his political position. 

GARDNER: No, perhaps not. He changed his political 

position . 

MALTZ: In a book that's full of lies, by the way. 

GARDNER: There's a certain sense of irony in his criticisms. 

MALTZ: Yes, well, of course. I mean, that book — I don't 

know if I'll mention it, I might mention it because of 

my contact with Howard in prison ... I really ought to 


put it down to mention it, but that was such a dishonest 

book. In fact I think I want to remember to discuss 

that book, The Naked God , and also a book written by 

Ruth McKenney called, I think, Love Story . 

GARDNER: Okay. I'll keep those in mind as well. 

MALTZ : All right, yes. 

GARDNER: North's article on you, as was Alvah Bessie's, as 

I recall, was not quite as meaty as Fast; I think Fast 

was perhaps, of the ones I read in New Masses --there was 

one comment in there that I found very interesting because 

at the time it seemed probably true and the last thirty 

years have changed that perspective, which was that over 

the previous fifty years, from the turn of the century, 

all important American writing had been left-wing in 

character, from Jack London to John Steinbeck. Now, you 

could have gotten away with a statement like that in 1946, 

and you certainly can't now. 

MALTZ: Who said that? 

GARDNER: I think it was Fast. But it may have been Bessie 

MALTZ: Well, I wonder whether that was true even in 1946 

about all important American writing. For instance, 

immediately, Thomas Wolfe--I consider him a very important 

American writer. And he wasn't left-wing. 

GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ: There was the school of social criticism, let's 


say, that we found in Dreiser, Frank Norris, and one 

other man whose name I forget. But. . . . Did he mention 

only fiction or literature? 

GARDNER: Well, I think his implication was — Of course, 

you had divided journalism and art . . . 

MALTZ: Yes. 

GARDNER: . . . and so the point of the article, the 

rebuttal article, was anyway to say that journalism can 

equal art . . . 

MALTZ: Sure it can. I know that. 

GARDNER: . . . anyway. Yes, right. 

MALTZ: Of course you go into playwriting, O'Neill had 

some anarchist ideas, but it doesn't mean that he was a 

left-wing playwright. I wouldn't consider him so. And, 

gee, you know, when you start to think of novelists, 

all of a sudden you forget . . . you forget who were the 

novelists and so on. 

GARDNER: Well, of course, even in 1946 I suppose that's-- 

Well, Faulkner had been writing for twenty years . . . 

MALTZ: Faulkner, of course Faulkner. 

GARDNER: . . . Fitzgerald, who had. . . . Hemingway . . . 

MALTZ: I wouldn't consider Hemingway a left-wing . . . 

GARDNER: ... of course Hemingway had just come off the 

Spanish civil war and World War II. 

MALTZ: Yes, but his book was attacked by the Communist 



GARDNER: Oh, was it? 

MALTZ: Very seriously, because in it he gave a picture, 

which proved historically later to be absolutely true, 

of an absolutely crazy Communist leader who was shooting 

people. And that was Andre Marty, the French commissar in 

Spain, who was a nut and shot a lot of innocent people, 

had a lot of innocent people shot. And Hemingway saw 

what was happening, reproduced it, and the party attacked 


GARDNER: So even then it didn't hold up, and that's one 

of the things that seemed most interesting to me is that. 

MALTZ: Sinclair Lewis. 

GARDNER: Sinclair Lewis, right. 

MALTZ: I mean if we start to go down the line of writers , 

you don't think of them offhand . . .no, that's not 

true . . . what Fast said. 

GARDNER: But your first article really did seem to be an 

interesting kickoff for literary discussion. 

MALTZ: Yes, for discussion, but ... it changed. 

GARDNER: What about repercussions on that afterwards? 

You mentioned some of them, and you mention that the 

thing still pops up with Garry Wills and so forth and 

so on. 

MALTZ: Yes, it's going to go on forever. And, I mean, 

I have never before given an explanation fully in this way, 


I did in several previous interviews. Books not yet 

published go into it more that I have previously, but 

not as fully as this. So this is the only place, really, 

in which my whole . . . just what happened is laid down. 

And, repercussions . . . well, something I've lived with. 

That's all. I regret it happened, but it happened, and 

this is why it happened. 

GARDNER: Well, I think that covers my questions. Shall 

we adjourn for the day? 

MALTZ : Yes, I think we might. 


NOVEMBER 21, 19 7 8 

GARDNER: Now, you mentioned just now that there were 

some additions you'd like to make. 

MALTZ : Yes. I happen to recall that I had a binder of 

letters that I received on various books, and I've selected 

several of the letters that came in on The Cross and the Arrow 

because they attest to the authenticity of the book. 

Lion Feuchtwanger wrote: "I'm sure that it is a literary 

and political achievement which will last always." 

Erwin Piscator, who was one of the leading theatrical 

directors of pre-Hitler Germany and who was working in 

New York at the New School for Social Research, asked for 

the dramatic rights to the book so that he could stage 

it when the German theater began again. And he said, I 

quote, "I think it is a great and effective work." 

There was a letter from a man who signed himself Andre Simone, 

whom I had met in New York before I moved to California, 

who said: "I consider it the best novel written on Hitler 

Germany. The most astounding thing to me is that an American 

writer was able to penetrate more profoundly into the 

little secrets of a German isolated behind an iron wall, 

was able to comprehend the psychology of the little man 

in Nazi Germany better than any exiled German writer who 

tried it." Now, I want to mention about Simone that he 


had been very active in the antifascist movement in the 
years before the war. He was based in Paris and he was 
the chief editor of a book called, I think, The Black 
Book of Nazi Germany .* I'm not absolutely sure about 
title but it was . . . 
GARDNER: That can be checked. 

MALTZ: Yes ... it was a very important compilation that 
came out in around 1936 or '37, I believe. He also came 
to the United States on several fund-raising drives for 
antifascist work, and I have been told that he was, in part, 
the model for the main character in Lillian Hellman's 
Watch on the Rhine . I can't be absolutely sure of this. 
I just have heard this; I don't know that it's certainty. 
Now the more important thing about--or not the more 
important, but another aspect to Andre 1 Simone was the 
fact that he was born in Czechoslovakia, although he 
apparently lived in Germany, lived and worked in Germany, 
and that his real name was Otto Katz . He went back to 
Czechoslovakia directly after the war and became editor of 
the leading Communist newspaper. In 1952, I believe it 
was, he was one of those arrested in the Slansky trial. 
He was tortured and he confessed to a lot of nonsense, 
such as saying that he was a Zionist spy and a British 
agent as well, and he was executed. 

*The Black Book—Jewish Black Book Committee 


There was a letter from two Germans, two German 
translators — I received letters (I'm sorry) from two 
German translators living in the American zone after 
the war was over who asked to translate the book. And 
I also got a letter from a German war veteran in the 
American zone who had been a prisoner of war in the 
United States, and he asked if he could translate the 
book. And there was a letter written in June '45 by an 
American lieutenant with the occupation forces saying 
that he was stationed in an area where everything fit 
the description in my novel: the camouflaged factory, 
Polish and Russian slave laborers on the farms, and 
so on. And that's all I wanted to put in. [tape recorder 
turned off] 

Now I want to continue with the history of the 
year 194 6. On March 5 of that year a momentous event 
occurred: Winston Churchill, no longer in office, made 
a speech at Westminster College, Missouri. The college 
was in Truman's home state, and Truman was in attendance 
at the speech, and it was clear from other evidence that 
Churchill had had prior consultation with Truman. 
The essence of his speech was a portrait of the Soviet 
Union as a nation out to conquer the world, and that 
there had to be a world crusade to contain and smash world 
communism in the name of Anglo-Saxon democracy. That 


Churchill should make such a speech was quite consistent 

with his prior record because he had been in charge of 

the British invasion forces in the Soviet Union in 

1918, '19 and '20. And throughout the twenties he had 

preached the menace of the Red Revolution. There was 

a temporary alliance with the Soviet Union in World War II 

when Britain's life was at stake, but now he had returned 

to the same tack again. [tape recorder turned off] 

I'm now quoting from a small portion of his speech that's 

reproduced in volume one, page 349, of Fleming's The Cold 

War and Its Origins . Churchill said, "Beware, I say: 

Time may be short. Do not let us take the course of letting 

events drift along until is too late." He then went on 

to say that nobody knew "what Soviet Russia and its 

Communist international organization intends to do in 

the future, or what are the limits if any to their 

expansive and proselytizing tendencies." He then went 

on to say that "from Stettin to Trieste there was an iron 

curtain." And this was the creation of the phrase "iron 

curtain . " 

This speech was the opening salvo in the cold war that 
followed. Debate immediately started in the United States 
press, and the tone toward the Soviet Union, which was our 
very recent ally in war, and toward American Communists, 
began to change in the press. Now, in saying that this 


was the start of the cold war I don't mean to imply 
any conclusions about the merits of the disputes between 
the United States and the Soviet Union. I'm merely 
recognizing that there was the pronouncement of a 
political stance in a way that had not occurred before, 
and one of such a nature that historians have dated the 
beginning of the cold war from that speech. 

In the middle of--now coming back to myself-- 
in the middle of April 1946 I was able to start research 
work on the novel I was hoping to write, for which I 
had a title, working title, Johnny Dragoo , and, as I 
mentioned earlier, I believe, I wanted to do some factory 
work because of who the central character was. 
GARDNER: What did that name mean, Johnny Dragoo? 
MALTZ: Just the name of a guy, name of a man. I did 
about seven weeks of factory work, which was enough to 
get me what I needed. Jobs were easy to get at that 
time because a considerable number of men had not yet 
been demobilized from the army. My first job was too 
heavy for me physically although I was in good shape for 
someone who was essentially a sedentary worker. I could 
not handle with any comfort an all-day job which consisted 
primarily of lifting fifty-gallon oil drums which weighed 
about sixty pounds. I started in the morning with some 
other men lifting and rolling them so that we loaded an 


entire boxcar of a train, a freight boxcar, and by about 
11:30 in the morning, when we had finished, I was out 
on my feet and knew that I had to seek other work. I 
don't know how I lasted the day. 

I was about three weeks in a factory where my small 
shop was making egg beaters, and I was putting two parts 
together to the ruination of a hand. I had another 
job soldering parts of a plumbing fixture, and the boss 
of the shop did an unaccountable thing. Although he 
knew that it was important to protect the hands of the 
man doing the soldering from the acid that was involved 
or else the acid would eat the flesh, he gave me a pair 
of gloves, a pair of rubber gloves that had rents in them. 
So, as a result, within a few days I had an open wound 
on one hand and had to quit. This is an incredible. . . . 
GARDNER: What were the factories? 
MALTZ : The names of them? 
GARDNER: Yes. Who were you working for? 
MALTZ: Well, the first factory, with the oil drums, 
was something called the Levine Cooperage. And there they 
took old oil drums and they cleaned them out. And if 
they were dented, they blew them out and they renovated 
them and painted them and then resold them. A terribly 
noisy place. It was cacophony going all the time, out 
of doors. And the second one, I recall, was something 


called Na Mac. I don't remember the name of the soldering 
shop. And then I spent about three weeks in the loading 
and shipping division of Magnavox Victrola. 

Perhaps the most important thing I got out of that 
work was the realization in my gut and head of what job 
monotony means. I had not seen job monotony written about 
in any novel that I had read, and I intended to go into it 
in this novel because it is a terrible affliction for 
many workers. To repeat, as I did with the egg beater, 
the same operation about 900 times a day, and to do that 
every day is very difficult to sustain for some people. 
Now, I remember there was a middle-aged Ukrainian woman 
Ukrainian-born woman, working beside me with a small 
machine in which she repeated the same operation more than 
that — about 1,500 times a day. And she wasn't affected 
by job monotony. But many of the workers were. 

Now, however, these weeks of work were interrupted in 
a highly contrasting way by one week of film work. There 
was an emergency call for me from Delmer Daves, who had 
directed both Destination Tokyo and Pride of the Marines . 
He had written a film called The Red House , and he was 
directing it on location in Sonora, California. He found 
that there were some things in the script that would not 
work, and he was too busy with his directing to rewrite 
them himself. And he urgently wanted me to come up because 


he felt he could tell me the problem and that I could 

rewrite to his satisfaction and that he could depend upon 

me to do it within the week that he had before he had 

to shoot the material. My agent, without my knowing it, 

asked an incredible price for that week, and apparently 

he and the producer were so boxed in they said yes, and 

it was $10,000 for one week's work. So I drove up there 

and worked very intensively for the week and did the work. 

There were two other things to mention. One is that one 

of the stars of the film was Edward G. Robinson and he 

wanted to talk; so every evening after supper--I had 

supper with him every evening—and then after supper, 

before I went back to work again, we'd walk for about a 

half an hour. And this was very pleasant, and I mention 

it because there will be some sequels to it. 


MALTZ: Now, on the way back I stopped to pick up an old 

man who wanted a hitch. In those days I always picked up 

people on the road because it was a chance to talk with 

varied persons. And when this man picked up his old-fashioned 

Gladstone bag and began to walk toward my car, I saw that 

he was unable to take a step of more than a few inches 

at a time. This man turned out — His name was Stevenson, 

and I didn't know it at that time but I was to write my 

next novel, The Journey of Simon McKeever , about him. 


He told me that he was running away from an old-age home 
and that he wanted to get to Glendale, where there was 
a doctor that could cure his arthritis. We traveled 
together (and paused for meals) for about eight hours, as 
I recall, and I found him an absolutely fascinating man. 
He was a tall, broad-shouldered, good-looking man, born in 
Ireland, with a slight Irish accent, and he had so much 
life force and spirit and laughter about him that I was 
enormously taken by him. He was, by the way, eighty-three 
years old and had not hesitated to go out on the road 
hitchhiking because he wanted to get cured of his arthritis, 
and he expected very confidently to go back to work as 
soon as he was cured. He had been working, he said, until 
three years before. When we got to Glendale I asked him 
whether he had money for a motel and he didn't; so I took 
him to a motel and paid the night's lodging and gave him 
some money (I forget, not much) and said goodbye to him, 
and went away thinking what a marvelous man I had met. I 
didn't know for some months later that I would find I 
wanted to write about him. 

I then went back to those factory jobs, and at the 
end of May, with my family, I went to the island of Catalina, 
where we had rented a house and where I had hoped to work 
uninterruptedly for about four months. I had several projects 
that I had in mind to work on. One, of course, was the novel. 


But also I believe that it was on my way up to Sonora 
that I stopped overnight in Modesto, California, and there 
I wandered into one of the open gambling saloons they have, 
where I fell to talking with a young man who told me things 
about his life that I felt I wanted to use for a story. 
I had a title for it called "Evening in Modesto," I recall, 
and I wanted to work on that story as well. I might mention 
now (of course, I'll forget later) that although I never 
quite finished it as a story, I happened to tell it to 
someone I knew, whose name I no longer recall, who asked 
me whether I had any material he might use for a film. 
This was the next year, I guess. He was in some sort of 
an experimental project at RKO under Dore Schary, and I 
told him this story. Since it involved migrant workers on 
farms, it was something that he wanted very much to do. 
And so I went in and told the story to the people at RKO, 
and although it was unfinished, they bought it for $15,000. 
I was so casual about it that I never even told my agent, 
and she said later that I was foolish because she could have 
gotten a lot more money for it. 

I found that my work on Johnny Dragoo did not go 
along very well. In part I think that there were things 
about the material that I was having difficulty in handling. 
I had never done and, as a matter of fact, still have never 
done, a novel that handles a character's life over a good many 
years. All of my novels have been compressed within a short 
space of time. 


GARDNER: Right. A dramatic situation. 

MALTZ : Yes. And I suppose that this is in part my early 
dramatic training and the thing that I feel comfortable with. 
I'm not sure of all the reasons, but I know that it didn't 
move along well. But another reason why I think it didn't 
move along well was that I was still very shaken up inside 
over the controversy and disturbed by it, and that this 
affected me when I was alone at my desk. 

I believe that I have omitted mentioning two activities 
that may have started in 194 5 but I know were going on in 
1946. I was asked by the secretary of the Authors Guild 
in New York, Louise Sillcox, if I would not organize a 
western branch of the Authors Guild in Los Angeles. I 
undertook to do this, and, for me now, it is a good example 
of the kind of activity I should not have engaged in because 
it involved the writing of very long letters to Louise Sillcox 
and Oliver La Farge, and meetings and phone calls with 
people out here, and then meetings when we got together. 
And, actually, we got a good branch in existence, and 
I was made the chairman, or president, or something like 
that. But I don't remember what we really achieved, and 
I just think it was an example of my dutifully being a good 
citizen when I should have been giving that time to writing. 

But I was also, and this I know was worthwhile, a 
member of the executive board of the Arts, Sciences, and 
Professions [Committee], which was an organization out here 


with real clout. Harlow Shapley, the Harvard astronomer 
(and I understand a very great astronomer) , was the chairman 
of it, was the national chairman. And the [committee], which 
had a large membership including people from all cultural 
and scientific areas, was, I think, on the side of the 
angels whenever social problems arose. All of the records 
of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions [Committee] are in some 
university library. I don't know whether it's Wisconsin 
or whether it's UCLA. Someone who would know, I could 
call up and ask, is the widow of the man who was secretary 
of it. 

GARDNER: I suspect I would know about it if it were at 

MALTZ : The secretary of it was George Pepper (incidentally, 
a fine violinist who had had to give up the violin because 
he developed a physical problem in playing, which I 
understand is sort of an industrial disease of violinists) . 
I don't know which university. 

Now, in September '46 I was called back and was asked 
by Frank Ross to make some changes in The Robe . The Robe 
was expected to go into production immediately, and I 
worked for two and a half weeks but then had to interrupt 
for almost three weeks because my wife had some major 
surgery. I then returned to The Robe for a month and was 
finished by mid-November. And then it didn't go into 


production after all because Howard Hughes took over the 
studio. And he disliked the project and not only wouldn't 
let Frank Ross make it at RKO but he wouldn't allow him 
to take it elsewhere. He acted as though the project was 
his personal enemy. And it was not until 1951 that Ross 
was able to get it away from RKO because Howard Hughes had 
left the company. [tape recorder turned off] 

While I was at RKO on this occasion, I saw something of 
Adrian Scott, whom I had known only casually and found him 
a most attractive man, charming, sincere, modest, and keenly 
intelligent. He had a fascinating project which became 
the film Crossfire . Now, that was based upon a novel 
called The Brick Foxhole , which had been written by 
Richard Brooks while he was still, I think, in the marine 
corps in World War II ... or perhaps it was just after 
he had come out of the marine corps. It was a mystery 
novel in which, as I recall, it turned out that a man 
who had been murdered had been so because homosexuality 
was involved. Interestingly enough, I had been sent the 
book by Gadget Kazan about a year before with the request 
that I read it and see whether I wanted to try and turn 
it into a play which then Kazan would direct. And I 
didn't see it as anything that was of interest to me. But 
Adrian wanted to do it now as a film, and he had come up 
with something that was very fascinating. 


He wanted the motivation for the killing to be, 
not homosexuality, but anti-Semitism. And that made 
it really a more contemporary story from the point of view 
of the United States in the year 1946 since we had just 
come through World War II and the Holocaust. In the 
course either of my discussing the project with him or 
of my reading something that the writer on the film, 
John Paxton, had wrote, I made a small contribution (I said 
"had wrote," didn't I? For God's sake, had written . My 
mind was. . . . ) , I made a small contribution to the film. 
Before I mention it, I want to say in passing that the 
Adrian Scott-John Paxton collaboration, which was ruined 
by the blacklist, was something wonderful. They had known 
each other in New York when they both worked on a theater 
magazine, and they had worked on two previous films together 
They were friends and fine working partners together. 
And Paxton, who is a very good writer, also says that 
he needed to work with someone and that he was not a 
self-starter, and that Adrian was a marvelous partner 
for him. 

But Adrian was looking for some-- He was looking 
for either motivation or characterization, or both, for the 
character of the detective who discovers the reason for the 
murder. Now, due to my research work for the novel 
The Beautiful Maria, about the Know-Nothing movement that 


I had never written, I suggested to Adrian that if this 
detective, who was an Irish Catholic, had had a grandfather 
or grandparent who had suffered in some of the anti-Catholic 
riots of the 1840s or fifties or seventies, he would be 
more sensitive to the question of racial prejucice. Now, 
Adrian was born a Catholic, and of Irish background, but 
he didn't know anything about that history. Fascinating! 
It had not come down in his family. He had not happened 
to do any research about it, and I know that in general it 
was not something that came into history books. So that 
I was able to provide it and he leaped at that and said, 
"Oh, that's just wonderful," and he was able to use it. 
And it worked very well in the film. Now, there's a topper 
to this. 

In 1977 I was in the hospital because I had suffered 
some malpractice, and in order to be cured from what had 
happened, I was facing some major surgery. At that time 
I got an article written by two men at NYU who were working 
for their Ph.D.s in film and who had been advised by someone 
(whose name I forget) that I might be able to check some 
of the data in their article. As a matter of fact, a great 
deal in their article was completely erroneous, because 
they had the automatic concept that Crossfire was, of course, 
Edward Dmytryk's Crossfire since he had directed it. And they 
had all sorts of fanciful theories about how the script was 


what it was because of its connection with previous 
projects that Dmytryk had done. And I immediately 
checked with John Paxton and got a copy of the letter 
to him, and Paxton reinforced my memory that the script 
had been finished before Dmytryk ever saw it. So we 
both wrote our comments to these authors, I scribbling 
very fast the night before my surgery. And then I came 
upon a footnote which said that Dore Schary, in an oral 
history interview, had revealed that it was he who 
had given Adrian Scott the concept of a detective whose 
grandfather had run up against prejudice because he was 
an Irish Catholic. [laughter] Now, here is Schary 
(I'm going to leap ahead), whose contribution to Crossfire 
was basically that of not preventing it from being made, 
because the script was finished before he became production 
head of RKO and then, after Scott and Dmytryk were 
blacklisted, he received awards for the film. And now that 
Adrian is dead, he told this lie in an interview. 
GARDNER: I wonder who it was done with? Probably with 
a film institute. 

MALTZ: No, I don't think so. I don't know with whom. 
I didn't make a record of it. 
GARDNER: I'll check and see. 

MALTZ: Yes, this thing has been published now, I presume in 
some theater magazine. I didn't even keep their names. 


And I don't mind in this oral history, when we run up 
against things as blatantly outrageous as that, putting 
it down in stone. 

In mid-November, having finished the work on 
The Robe , mid-November '46, I returned to my own work. 
But in the months since I had picked up the man Stevenson, 
I'd kept thinking about him, and I felt now that I wanted 
to write a short story about him. And so I began it, 
and before I had gone too many pages, I realized that I 
couldn't do it, couldn't do the story that had begun to 
develop in my mind in a short time, and so I felt, well, 
I better make this a short novel. And then I decided 
that I wanted to know more about where he came from and 
the home he was running away from, and so I got in my 
car and started back to Sacramento, went up to Sacramento. 

He had told me enough for me to find the place. It 
was different from my novel. He had never become a citizen 
of the United States because when he was a young man and 
had emigrated to Canada, he decided to move into the 
United States for purposes of work, and he just walked 
across the bridge; nobody ever stopped him. And down the 
years he had taken out first citizenship papers on several 
occasions but following — Since he was a worker in the oil 
fields, he would move from field to field as work opportunities 
came up, and he never settled long enough in one place to 


really get his citizenship. Consequently, he didn't have 
social security, and when he got arthritis, there was no 
place for him to go except the county old-age home. So 
I went to the old-age home and found it to be, on the 
outside, a very nice-looking building that had been built 
by WPA; but inside it was pretty awful. I remember a very 
large room with rows of beds; I think there must have 
been about four long rows of beds with no space between 
them, with no more space between them than someone needed 
to walk. And perhaps there were footlockers, but I don't 
recall. I know that the mattresses were of straw. And 
the sight of old men lying there doing nothing except 
waiting to die was a terrible one. There was a library, 
small, in which there were some men who were reading, and 
I always remember one man with palsied hands reading 
Havelock Ellis's Dance of Life , which fascinated me. 
And I went through this room, and I guess maybe 
there were several more, wondering whether I might 
find Stevenson. I didn't. I asked for him by name and 
nobody knew about him. And as I was leaving the building, 
some man who worked in it passed, and I asked him and he 
said, "Oh, yes, I know him. He's in the county hospital. 
He went there for an operation." So I went to the county 
hospital, and I asked for his name and got it, and it so 
happened that I walked up to his bed in a ward within perhaps 


fifteen minutes or a half an hour after he had been 
brought down from surgery for a prostate operation. 
And he opened his eyes as I looked at him, I don't 
recall whether I even mentioned his name, or perhaps 
I did, and he said, "Oh, I know you." He said, "You're 
the man who picked me up on the road." And so we then 
talked a little bit, and, as I recall, I came back the 
next day and talked with him more, and then maintained 
a correspondence with him all through the writing of 
the book. And I'll tell later what happened in our 
relationship . 

I then went around in the Sacramento area inves- 
tigating old-age homes because I didn't want to have 
my character in-- I wanted to have him a more universal 
type, not have him a noncitizen. And so I went to 
various homes and told the proprietors that I had a 
relative who needed a place, and I wanted to see their 
place and find out what things were like. And, as a 
result, I got the information I needed about the way 
these homes operated. And I went home and went to work 
with a good deal of enthusiasm, and I worked out an 
outline by the end of the year. Now, I just want to 
sum up and say this had been a year in which I had spent 
only four months on film work. And I hoped to continue 
on that basis or do even better in the years to come. 


GARDNER: Better in the sense of more fiction and less 

MALTZ : Of more fiction and less film. My agent thought 
that she could now get $5,000 a week for me, which was 
unheard of. There wasn't anyone else getting that, and 
that would mean that I'd only need, say, four weeks 
of work a year to get along splendidly on the level 
at which I lived. And I would have been just as inter- 
ested in just doing four weeks of rewriting a script that 
needed more work rather than spending more time and 
getting a solo credit. 
GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ: So things looked extremely rosy for my fiction 
work at that time. 

GARDNER: Why don't we stop here since the tape is about 
to run out, and then we can take up on the next tape. 
MALTZ: Yes. 


NOVEMBER 21, 1978 

MALTZ: I began to write the story of Stevenson, whose 
name I changed to Simon McKeever, in early January 1947, 
and the writing went along at a good rate. 

Now, I need to turn again to the political scene. 
In the turmoil of postwar conflicts, I personally went 
along with the positions taken by the Soviet Union and the 
Communist party. Now, on March 12, 1947, about a year or 
eleven months after the Fulton, Missouri, speech of Churchill, 
President Truman pronounced his Truman Doctrine in a speech 
to Congress. Professor [Denna Frans] Fleming, in volume 
one, page 446 of his The Cold War and Its Origins , wrote 
the following summation: that all revolutions everywhere 
in the world were forbidden by Truman. "Wherever a 
communist rebellion developed the United States would suppress 
it . . . The United States would become the world's 
anti-communist, anti-Russian policeman . . . The president 
went on to say that the . . . method by which this nation 
was born was outlawed. There would be no more revolutions 
thereafter, in spite of the fact that many hundreds of millions 
of people lived a miserable existence under the misrule of 
a few." 

This was a period in American life in which there was 
tremendous discussion of the atom bomb: Should we use it at 


once on Russia? There was sudden suspicion of the loyalty 
oath of all physicists, all scientists involved in the making 
of the bomb. Then, in the same month, Truman suddenly gave 
an executive order calling for the examination of the loyalty 
of all federal government employees, more than two million 
of them. And he ordered the creation of loyalty review 
boards who could examine the records of all federal 
employees, and see to it that those whose loyalty was 
questionable would be dismissed from government work. Now, 
it's interesting to reflect that it had not been necessary 
in wartime to check on the loyalty of all government 
employees, but here, by a presidential edict, it was 
necessary now in peacetime. Why was that so? Apparently, 
in part, it was a demagogic attempt on Truman's part to 
repair the results of the 1946 congressional election, 
which swung votes to the Republicans on the grounds 
that the Democrats were soft on communism. In a larger 
part, I believe that it was designed to create in the 
country a cold-war psychology that would support larger 
military budgets, military aid to selected countries 
abroad, the creation of the CIA, and the establishment 
of foreign military bases. And furthermore to create 
an atmosphere in which any criticism of Truman's foreign 
policy would be made difficult and would seem to be 
disloyal . 


Now, the result of Truman's Loyalty Oath was 

an immediate poisoning of the national psychology, 

because people said: "Who is loyal? Who is not? Is 

my neighbor loyal? How do I know he's loyal?" Carey 

McWilliams, in his book Witch Hunt -- [tape recorder 

turned off] The practical result of this poisoning 

of the national psychology was that very shortly there 

began to be state loyalty oaths for all employees, 

and city loyalty oaths and loyalty oaths for faculty 

members of universities, and oaths in public schools, 

in defense industries, in trade unions, and in other 

sectors. It's perhaps worth pausing for a moment to 

quote from The American Inquisition, 1945-1960 , by 

Cedric Belfrage [p. 130]. 

Scene: Reno, Nevada. The 105 employees of 
Brodsky's gambling saloon — dealers, B-girls, 
pit bosses, waitresses, janitors--are lined 
up before Murray Brodsky, who exhibits a 
loyalty-oath form. 

BRODSKY: All right, you guys. Either sign or 
get out. 


BRODSKY: Yeah, put your John Hancock here and 
don't argue. 

[laughter] Isn't that something? 

GARDNER: They all had Communists in a champagne glass, 

MALTZ: Another by-product of Truman's loyalty order 

was the attorney general's list of "subversive" 


organizations. This list was compiled by J. Edgar 
Hoover's boys and presented to the public by Attorney 
General Clark. It was a list of seventy-eight organi- 
zations that were allegedly subversive, and the list was 
later extended to several hundred [organizations] . 

Past membership in one of these organizations, or 
support of it in any way, was instant evidence of dis- 
loyalty. All government employees had to swear that 
they never had supported these organizations in any way. 
If they had supported them they were fired. And if 
they lied, they would be prosecuted for perjury. 
So, for instance, the term came, of "premature antifascist." 
That is to say, if you had attended a rally of the 
Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, or given a dollar 
to someone who did, and you had done so before the 
United States was in World War II, then you were a 
premature antifascist, and disloyal. 

This list was utterly arbitrary. There were no 
meaningful standards. There was no opportunity for 
organizations to defend themselves against the charge of 
subversion. And this list then became used by states, 
cities, private industries, and so on in the testing 
of the loyalty of citizens. 
GARDNER: It still is used. 
MALTZ: It still is used? 


GARDNER: In certain obscure cases. 

MALTZ : Well, it's illegal now, I believe. 

GARDNER: Well, loyalty oaths on a statewide level are 

illegal, I believe, but for certain government organizations 

that list is still presented. 

MALTZ: Really? I didn't know that. Now, another result 

of the loyalty oath was that informers were asked by the 

federal government to come forward and promised that their 

identity would never be revealed. There was one earlier 

period in American history, from 1798 to 1800, when a 

similar atmosphere prevailed. Under John Adams, the Alien 

and Sedition Laws were passed, and I quote from Claude Bowers 's 

Jefferson and Hamilton , which is subtitled The Struggle for 

Democracy in America . He says [p. 376], "The purpose of the 

Sedition bill was to crush the opposition press and silence 

criticism of the ruling powers." In the debate on these 

bills in the House of Representatives, Edward Livingston, 

a follower of Jefferson said this [p. 378]: "The country 

will swarm with informers, spies, delators, and all the 

odious reptile tribe that breed in the sunshine of despotic 

power." And he was describing the United States in the 

years that followed Truman's loyalty oath. It is for this 

reason that it is completely inaccurate to refer to the 

McCarthy era. McCarthy certainly took center stage in 

the fifties, for a period of the fifties, but, properly 


speaking, these must be called the Truman-McCarthy years, 
because it was Truman's loyalty oath that created the 
atmosphere in which McCarthy could flourish. 

There is, however, an interesting contradiction about 
Truman. It appears that, to some extent, he was utterly 
blind about the havoc he was causing in the country, 
because at one point he said that the House Un-American 
Activities Committee is the most un-American thing in 
the country today. And in the film that was made about 
him, called Give 'Em Hell, Harry , he made a magnificent 
speech in Boston against McCarthy. And one can only assume 
that he did not connect the role of the committee or of 
McCarthy with the atmosphere that he himself had created. 
I don't think that he was a hypocrite, but in this area 
he was certainly less than intelligent. 

GARDNER: Do you have any idea as to what the forces were 
that led him to. . . ? 

MALTZ : Well, I think they were the things I mentioned 
at the beginning: one, the fact that the Democrats had 
lost seats in the 1946 congressional election, with the 
Republicans charging that they were soft on communism. 
So he wanted to show that they weren't soft on communism, 
and the loyalty oath was that. I think he didn't foresee 
the consequences. And then there was the fact that he 
didn't want any criticism of his foreign policy. Remember, 


at that time Henry Wallace (I 'm going to come to Henry 
Wallace) , who had been first secretary of agriculture 
under Roosevelt, then vice-president under Roosevelt, 
then, I think, secretary of the interior under Roosevelt 
until his death, and then under Truman, broke with Truman 
on foreign policy, and was going around the country making 
speeches attacking Truman's foreign policy. And Truman 
wanted to shut him up, as he wanted to shut up others who 
were following Wallace. 

GARDNER: And succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. 
MALTZ : Oh boy, yes! Now, I'd like to mention a few books 
as reference on this which come purely from my own library. 
There are, of course, many more. One is the best compilation 
of what actually happened from 1945 to 1960 in the United 
States, and that's Cedric Belfrage's The American Inquisition , 
published by Bobbs, Merrill in '73; Grand Inquest by 
Telford Taylor, Simon and Schuster, 1955. Telford Taylor 
had been chief prosecutor at the War Crimes Trial in 
Nuremberg and is at present on the faculty of Columbia 
University Law School. And Witch Hunt , by Carey McWilliams, 
1950, Little, Brown and Company. [tape recorder turned off] 

I mentioned there had been a great debate about the 
atomic weapon after Churchill's Fulton, Missouri, speech. 
But, as time passed, that changed, the debate passed, and 
there was a tremendous campaign in the press and radio that 


grew and grew about the Russian menace and its fifth 

column of Reds inside the country. And any position left 

of center began to be called Red. Henry Wallace, whom 

I've just referred to, was called a Red, and he had eggs 

and rotten vegetables thrown at him at various times when 

he spoke. And at one time, somewhat later, the New York Times , 

which did not print his speeches, even refused to accept 

paid advertisements that would have carried the text of 

his speeches. This in a newspaper that says "All the News 

That's Fit to Print." 

GARDNER: Right. The newspaper of record. 

MALTZ: Cedric Belfrage, whose work I've just referred 

to, gives some illustrations of the atmosphere of the 

period [p. 56]. When the House Committee on Un-American 

Activities wanted to increase its budget for 1946, [John] 

Rankin, at that time the head of the committee, and a man 

who referred openly in Congress to "niggers and kikes," 

reminded the Congress "of the Russian custom of indiscriminate 

rape," and he was given a budget of $125,000. "[Rankin] had 

clarified HUAC ideology by recalling that 'after all, the 

Ku Klux Klan is an American institution; our job is to 

investigate foreign isms and alien organizations.' Courteous 

questioning of anti-Semite Gerald Smith added such 

show-business names as Orson Welles, Ingrid Bergman, 

Eddie Cantor, and Frank Sinatra to the list of citizens 


who would need to clear their skirts." In the atmosphere 
created by Truman, the House Committee on Un-American 
Activities began to conduct investigations at a rate it 
never had before. "By the fall of 1946 HUAC had fed into 
the contempt mill George Marshall of the Civil Rights 
Congress, the Rev. Richard Morford of NCASF [National 
Committee for American and Soviet Friendship] , and nine 
leaders of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee 
(relief for Spanish Republican survivors) including novelist 
Howard Fast and Edward Barsky, a New York surgeon. ..." 
They had declined to give the names of contributors to 
their funds for Spanish relief and declined to give the 
names of those to whom funds were sent, since they knew 
that the names of people to whom they sent funds would be 
turned over to the Franco government, and the names of 
people who contributed would cause them to be brought before 
the Committee. So, they ended up with three- and six-month 
jail terms. And in December '46 Harlow Shapley, chairman 
of the ASP--Art, Sciences, and Professions [Committee] --was 
called before HUAC, and he called Rankin a fascist. This 
was only one of thousands of incidents in a scene that was 
flaming higher and higher every day. For those who didn't 
live through the period, Belfrage is indispensable reading 
if they want a picture of what occurred at that time. 


One of the things that also happened was that 
several dozen liberal commentators on radio, news commentators, 
were dropped from their jobs, and one of them was William 
Shirer, later to be author of The Rise and Fall of the 
Third Reich . 

The various events that I've been touching upon led 
to a mobilization against them in the summer of 1947, in 
Los Angeles. The Arts, Sciences, and Professions [Committee] 
organized a Conference on Thought Control in the United 
States, which lasted for three days at the Beverly Hills 
Hotel. It's revealing to bear in mind that the Truman 
executive order for a loyalty oath had occurred in March 
of that year, and so quickly had changes occurred in the 
United States, that already by July the alarms were 
being sounded. [tape recorder turned off] The various 
papers that were given at this conference dealt with the 
legal aspects of thought control and what was occurring 
in the press, radio, literature, music, the arts and 
architecture, medicine, science and education, film, and 
with actors. The proceedings were printed by the Arts, 
Sciences, and Professions [Committee] of the Progressive 
Citizens of America, and the copyright is by the Progressive 
Citizens of America. This was not published by a regular 
publisher, so I hope that it is to be found in the library, 
because it is a remarkable picture of what was going on at 


that time in the United States. The opening session 
was chaired by Howard Koch, a very distinguished screen- 
writer, and the speakers were John Cromwell, a director, 
John Howard Lawson, Bernard Smith, who was a film story 
editor and had been chief editor of Knopf publishing 
house, and Norman Corwin. And I would like to read 
a bit from the comments from the paper of Norman Corwin: 

Overnight, at the drop of an issue, you 
can become a Red, although you may not 
know Karl Marx from Groucho Marx. Oppo- 
sition to the Truman Doctrine became 
prima facie evidence of Communist lean- 
ings, if not connections. Objection to 
the disloyalty bill on any ground, legal, 
moral or political, became prima facie 
evidence of disloyalty itself. If you 
fight for lower rents, higher wages, 
better working conditions; if you are 
against silicosis in the mines or fraudu- 
lent advertising; if you are for health 
insurance and protection of the rights 
of the foreign-born; if you favor consumer 
cooperatives and fair employment practices; 
if you are for equality of opportunity 
and education; if you are against Jim 
Crowism and the poll tax; if you are for 
foreign cultural exchange; if you stand 
for one world or any of the doctrines 
tributary to it; if you believe liter- 
ally what is said in the great documents 
of freedom upon which the United States 
and the United Nations are established, 
then you are suspect of participation in 
a colossal international Communist front. 

That's an excellent summation. I spoke in the panel 

on literature, and the title of my piece was "The 

Writer as the Conscience of the People." [tape recorder 

turned off] The conference ended with the following 


statement by the participants: 

The law may be utilized either as an 
instrument of thought control, or as the 
guardian of the freedom of speech, press, 
assembly and religion through which the 
democratic process functions. We ask you 
to take a clear stand, Mr. President, 
affirming the full power of the law for 
the protection of the people of our country, 
and not as an instrument of economic intimi- 
dation and political power. We ask you 
specifically to take the following steps: 
one, to abolish the discriminatory and un- 
American loyalty tests; two, to instruct 
the Attorney General of the United States 
to dismiss the charges against all those 
who are today being prosecuted for alleged 
contempt of the Thomas-Rankin committee; 
three, to join your illustrious prede- 
cessor in emphatic rejection of the Thomas- 
Rankin committee's illegal methods and ob- 
jectives; four, to speak out against those 
who are denying meeting places and freedom 
of the press and the air to the people. 

I believe the denial of meeting places would refer, 
certainly, to Paul Robeson, who had not been allowed 
to sing in various towns and cities in the United States 
And I don't know whether it also applied to Henry Wal- 
lace, but it certainly would apply to different organi- 
zations in various communities . 

We come now to the investigation of the film 
industry by the House committee. This committee had 
made prior efforts to investigate the film industry. 
There is a book that will be published next year by 
Larry Ceplair and Steven Englund, by Doubleday (which 


as yet has no title*), which gives the specific history 
of these various attempts. The most important fact 
about this history is that, when the right-wing sena- 
tors Wheeler and Nye made moves for an investigation 
of the film industry in 1941, the motion picture company 
executives got together in a united front to prevent 
it. They hired Wendell Willkie, the Republican can- 
didate for president in the 1940 election, as their 
counsel. And the investigation bill never went through. 
In the spring and summer of 19 47, the committee, with 
its new chairman, Parnell Thomas of New Jersey, came 
out for secret hearings in an executive session. I 
might mention that the background of Parnell Thomas 
was that of a stockbroker. 

Jack Warner and Louis B. Mayer and others were 
known to have testified, and some things about their 
testimony were leaked when the committee wanted to, 
but their testimonies as a whole were not revealed. 
I note, in a scrapbook that I have of the events of 
that time, that I didn't cut any clippings of this 
executive session. And what it means to me now is 
that apparently I was not concerned at that time. 
I didn't find it to be any threat, let's say, to the 
community I lived in or myself personally. 

* The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the 
Film Community, 1930-1960 . 


GARDNER: But you must have known that, given the cir- 
cumstances of a loyalty oath and so on, and given 
your own affiliations, that if they did come knocking, 
yours would be one of the first doors that they would 
knock upon. 

MALTZ: Well, apparently I was not thinking of it, 
because I remember that when I got the subpoena I was 
surprised . 

This is the point at which to mention the role of 
an organization called the Motion Picture Alliance for 
the Preservation of American Ideals. It had been 
created in 1944 to combat "a growing impression that 
this industry is made up of and dominated by Communists, 
radicals, and crackpots." It was a militant anti-Com- 
munist, pro-free enterprise group. The committee was 
led by Rupert Hughes, a screenwriter who had also 
written a biography of George Washington, by Adolphe 
Menjou, John Wayne, Ward Bond, and other actors; by 
Sam Wood, a director; writers Ayn Rand, Fred Niblo, Jr., 
and Morrie Ryskind; and James K. McGuinness, who may 
have been a writer or an executive, I'm not sure; and 
by Roy Brewer, who was an important addition from the 
trade union movement, since he was head of the IATSE 
[International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees]. 
And the alliance asked the House Committee to investigate 
the motion picture industry. 


Now, I guess I haven't mentioned that I was 
again spending the summer on the island of Catalina, where 
I was working on my McKeever novel, and I interrupted 
only to write this speech for the Conference on Thought 
Control. The elementary question of why the House Com- 
mittee chose to investigate Hollywood before it investi- 
gated universities and trade unions and so on, was that 
it was purely for publicity reasons. Hollywood made 
copy in a big way, and people paid attention to it. 

I received my subpoena on September 17, calling 
for my appearance in Washington about a month later. 
I no longer recall whether I was summoned to be in Wash- 
ington at the time the hearings opened, which was a 
week before I myself testified, or whether I went there 
of my own volition with the other men earlier, or 
whether I was summoned for the day I testified. I've 
garbled this, but I think you can make it out. [laughter] 
GARDNER: Right. We can clarify it later. 
MALTZ: Yes. I see a note in the diary that I kept at 
that time, which was "Got a subpoena from the Rankin- 
Thomas committee, and had a momentary shock." But the 
next day, I recorded that I was very tense over it, 
so it seems as though I had received it without really 
anticipating it. Now, this was the last of my entries 
in the diary for not only that year but forever, except 


for two days in 1948 that I'll refer to later on. 
Quite clearly, I became too busy with what followed 
after the subpoena to continue with my four-line daily 
notes in my diary. Even four lines were too much, 
[tape recorder turned off] 

I was saying that at the time I received the sub- 
poena I was working on Simon McKeever , and I suddenly 
realized that there's some contradiction in my records 
as to whether or not I started McKeever in January of 
'47, 'which I said earlier, or whether I didn't start 
it until August, because some other record says that 
when I got the subpoena, I'd been writing McKeever 
for one month, and that I had eighty pages in hand, 
and that it was going fine. Now I think I can solve 
the discrepancy. I think what happened was that in 
January I began to plan the book, after I had gone 
up to Sacramento, and that it took me, probably, with 
the other things I had to do, five, six months to do 
all the planning, and then I began to write. And 
I think that's definite from my records that by Septem- 
ber 17 I had eighty pages and I had been writing for 
one month . 

But from September 22, I see from my records, five 
days after I got my subpoena, until the week of January 
11, '48, I couldn't write anything on the novel. I 


only remember some of the activities that took up my 
time for those fourteen weeks, but they were all con- 
nected with the fight of the committee. Here I have 
some of the activities that I do remember. Some forty- 
one or forty-three subpoenas were given out in the 
course of several days by federal marshals, and the 
committee shortly made clear what we were ascertaining, 
by questioning people, that the subpoenas went to oppos- 
ing groups: to left-wingers who were going to be 
under attack by the committee, and to right-wingers 
who were going to support it and who were called "friends" 
by the committee itself. The fact that the committee 
called them "friends" led us, who were presently to 
be known as the "Unfriendly Nineteen," to create that 
word for ourselves. We placed an advertisement in the 
trade papers announcing that we were indeed not friends 
of this committee, and we signed ourselves the Unfriendly 
Nineteen. At that time it seemed like an excellent idea, 
but it proved to be a most unfortunate mistake, because 
the name unfriendly was used for us years afterward, and 
still is referred to today, out of context of the reason 
why we had used it. And, consequently, it seems to be a 
description of nineteen hostile-- 
GARDNER: Unfriendly people. 
MALTZ : --unfriendly, disagreeable people. 


GARDNER: The nineteen referred to the ones who were 
originally subpoenaed? 

MALTZ : Yes. Now I'm going to name them and talk about 
them. There were thirteen writers: Alvah Bessie, 
Bertolt Brecht, Lester Cole, Richard Collins, Gordon 
Kahn, Howard Koch, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Law- 
son, Samuel Ornitz, Robert Rossen, Waldo Salt, Dalton 
Trumbo, myself. There were four directors: Herbert 
Biberman, Edward Dmytryk, Lewis Milestone, Irving 
Pichel. There was one producer, Adrian Scott, and 
one actor, Larry Parks. I think I'll mention now that, 
of the nineteen, there were four who were not members 
of the Communist party, and the rest were. And 
since, in an article in the L.A. Times by Richard Shere, 
there was an erroneous mention of the number of Jews 
who were members of the Hollywood Ten, an error that 
I sent him a letter about, but neither he nor the Times 
would publish. I think I want to mention that the 
nineteen divided into nine Christian, nine Jews, and 
one of mixed parentage . 

Two points: Bertolt Brecht never functioned with 
the group that kept being called the Unfriendly Nine- 
teen, or the Nineteen, because he was a noncitizen. 
While he had received a subpoena, he couldn't act in 
a political way. And I also mentioned that once the 
Nineteen got together, I swept under the rug my 


resentment of the ill-treatment I had received from 

Rossen and Milestone in the film deal for The Cross and the 

Arrow . Our activities, as a group of Nineteen, were 

as follows: first, there was a campaign to get the motion 

picture executives, and as many people in the film industry 

as possible, to oppose the investigation. In line with 

this, I want to read a portion of an advertisement that 

we put into the trade papers. I have no memory of writing 

this, but from the style, I think I must have participated 

in it. This was an open letter to the motion picture 

industry on the issue of "Freedom of the Screen from 

Political Intimidation and Censorship," and it was signed 

by all of the nineteen. In it, we said: 

Let us quote Rankin directly from the Congressional 
Record, July 19, 1945, "But I want to say to the 
gentlemen from California that these appeals"-- 

(let me explain, the appeals meant appeals to investigate 


--"are coming to us from the best people in 
California. Some of the best producers in 
California are very much disturbed because they're 
having to take responsibility for some of the 
loathesome, filthy, insinuating, un-American 
undercurrents that are running through various 
pictures sent throughout the country to be shown 
to the children of this nation." Which films? 
we ask. Margie ? Pride of the Marines ? The Best 
Years of Our Lives ? Let us be clear. The issue 
is not the historically phony one of the subversion 
of the screen by Communists, but whether the screen 
will remain free. The issue is not the "radicalism" 
of nineteen writers, directors, and actors, who 
are to be singled out, if possible, as fall guys. 


They don't count. No one of them has ever been 

in control of the films produced in Hollywood. 

The goal is control of the industry through 

intimidation of the executive heads of the 

industry and through further legislation. The 

goal is a lifeless and reactionary screen that 

will be artistically, culturally, and financially 

bankrupt. In 1941 Willkie said, "The industry 

is prepared to resist such pressure with all of 

the strength at its command." What will the 

industry say in October 1947 to Rankin and 

Thomas? Who will decide what stories are to be 

bought, what artists hired, what films released? 

Who will hold the veto? Who will be in control? Who? 

I want to comment, thirty years later, that I think 

just about everything that we said was at issue proves to 

have been correct, excepting one very, very important thing: 

that the goal of the committee would be a screen that 

would be financially bankrupt. Because, first of all, it 

was not the goal of the committee to bankrupt the film 

industry, and indeed the film industry continued to make 

profits after the blacklist came into existence, so that 

we were dead wrong on that point. But I suppose it can 

be forgiven because we were trying to persuade the producers 

that the thing most important to them, their pocketbooks, 

might be hurt. 

GARDNER: That's right. Did that run in the dailies? 

in the Daily Variety , Hollywood Reporter ? 

MALTZ : The Daily Variety . Did I give the date? 

GARDNER: I don't think that — 

MALTZ: Would you like the date? I think I ought to. 

Yes, it was in Variety and in the Reporter . And this was 


on October 16, 1947 . 

GARDNER: Right before the hearing 

MALTZ: Yes. 


NOVEMBER 29, 19 78 

GARDNER: Now, as you mentioned, we somehow overlooked 
Naked City -- 
MALTZ : Yes . 

GARDNER: --chronologically. 

MALTZ : In the spring, in March 1947, when I was at work 
planning the Simon McKeever novel, I got the opportunity 
for the kind of film job that, at that time, I really 
preferred over others — namely, a job of revising an 
unsatisfactory screenplay with good material. This was 
the film Naked City , which came from some original research 
done by Malvin Wald in collaboration with the producer 
Mark Hellinger. Hellinger told me that the idea for the 
film had been his, based upon a celebrated murder case in 
New York when he was a newspaperman there. Wald now says 
that the idea was his, based upon some general research 
he did in the police department files. I myself don't 
know what the truth is. However, Wald had very interesting 
materials for the film, but it was not a good screenplay, 
and Hellinger asked me if I wanted to go to work on it. 
I was happy to do so, and I did a complete revision, making 
real changes in characterization and aspects of the 
plot line and in scenes, and worked on it for a little 


over a month--about five weeks. A few days later in 

September, when Jule Dassin was brought onto the film 

to direct it, Dassin, Hellinger, and I did some cutting 

together. It was a very pleasing job, and I think I was 

paid about $15,000 for doing it. And I didn't know at 

the time I was writing it that Mark Hellinger was going 

to give me 5 percent of his end of the profits from the 

film. This turned out after I was blacklisted to be very 

useful indeed. I'll now come back-- 

GARDNER: Let me ask you a question or two about Naked City 

MALTZ: Yes. 

GARDNER: Had you known Hellinger from the New York 


MALTZ: Oh, no, I had not known him from the New York 

theater . 

GARDNER: Because he really is best known for that sort 

of production, isn't he? 

MALTZ: No, he is not. No. You are thinking of this 

because a theater in New York is called the Mark Hellinger 

Theatre, but that was just a kind of tribute to him as 

a man. In New York, I don't believe he ever did any 

theater . 

GARDNER: Oh, really? 

MALTZ: He was a newspaperman, and he was a columnist, 

and a very celebrated and popular columnist. In fact, he 


continued to write a column through the period of Naked City , 
I haven't really said anything about Hellinger. I had 
met him, just to be introduced, at Warner Brothers. When 
Pride of the Marines came out, he had liked the film so 
much that he personally took out a full-page ad in Variety 
to speak about it, and to speak about my screenplay. And so 
he obviously liked my work, and that was why he had come 
calling when he wanted a revision of Naked City . And that 
was a very happy experience with him, he was a very friendly 
man, very intelligent, and my relationship with him, brief 
as it was, was most cordial. I'm going to mention him later 
on again. 

I haven't mentioned anything about Jules Dassin. I 
called him Jule, which was his American name. He became 
Jules after many years in France. But we were old friends, 
and it's interesting to note that he began his theater 
career acting in Yiddish in a communist theater in New York, 
Artef, and he is not French-born as many people assume. 
GARDNER: Because of the in_ ending of his name. It 
looks so French . 

MALTZ: Yes, it looks so French. Especially changing Jule 
to Jules. And he's a man of high talent, whom I've always 
liked and enjoyed as a friend. 

Now, we come back to the hearings. And I left off at 
the point where subpoenas had been given out by federal 


marshals. Those who were opposed to the committee who 
received subpoenas were the following nineteen people: 
Alvah Bessie, Bertolt Brecht, Lester Cole, Richard Collins, 
Gordon Kahn, Howard Koch, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard 
Lawson, Samuel Ornitz, Robert Rossen, Waldo Salt, Dalton 
Trumbo, and myself. Now, this divided up into four 
directors--Biberman, Dmytryk, Milestone and Pichel-- 
one producer, [Adrian] Scott, one actor, [Larry] Parks, 
and the rest of us were writers. Since there has been 
mention made of the number of those who were Christian 
and those who were Jews, I will say that they divided 
nine and nine, with one who was of mixed parentage. And of 
this number, there were four who were not members of the 
Communist party. 

When we came together, I swept under the rug my resentment 
of Rawson and Milestone for the way they had dealt with me 
on The Cross and the Arrow . We came to be known as the 
Unfriendly Nineteen, and the Ten began to be called the 
Unfriendly Ten, and in some instances still are, because 
of a tactic that we ourselves employed early in the game. 
The committee had announced that there were going to be 
witnesses friendly to it who would appear, and so we 
at one point had an advertisement in the trade papers, 
in which we announced with pride that we, indeed, were not 
friendly to the committee, and didn't intend to cooperate 


with it, and we signed ourselves "the Unfriendly Nineteen." 
That turned out to be quite a misfortune, because the name 
stuck, but without the context behind it, and so it carried, 
down the years, the aura of a group of men who were unfriendly 
personalities. Oh, I already have done this, that's right. 
You know, I've done this, and I had a note— 
GARDNER: Well, that's okay. We'll just go on from there. 
MALTZ : It's repetitive. I see where we stopped, and I 
made a note for it, and so on. Well, there were a series 
of intensive meetings among the Nineteen (and just say in 
parentheses that Bertolt Brecht never met with us, because 
he was a noncitizen) . These meetings were to find out how 
we felt about the investigation and to decide on policy, 
because we were not all known to one another. Of the 
nineteen, for instance, I had never met Pichel and Parks, 
and the only ones I had had much contact with were Bessie, 
Cole, Lawson, Ornitz, and Biberman--no, and Adrian, Adrian 
Scott — but not much with the others. It became clear that 
all of the nineteen were opposed to the committee, and 
this is the point at which to pause briefly to give a small 
bit of the history of the committee. 

The House Committee on Un-American Activities had been 
created in 1938 by Congress to investigate any activity 
deemed to be un-American. Actually, the committee was an 
expression of the power of the right-wing forces in the 


United States at that time, even though under the [Franklin 
Delano] Roosevelt administration. Now, there are law 
enforcement agencies to prosecute people who commit crimes — 
local police, state police, the FBI, and so on. But this 
committee did not investigate crimes, and it didn't accuse 
people of crimes: it investigated the political ideas and 
activities of law-abiding citizens. It investigated the 
newspapers they subscribed to and the books they read. In 
short, it investigated the area that the Constitution forbids 
Congress to enter. The First Amendment of the Constitution 
doesn't say what citizens may or may not do. It says 
what Congress may not do: "Congress shall make no law 
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting 
the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech 
or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to 
assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of 
grievances." To our minds, then, this committee, by the 
very act that had created it, was unconstitutional. Now, 
the actual, practical job of the committee had been from 
the beginning to fight the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt. 
And, in addition, to express and give a forum to all that 
was reactionary in the United States. Following Congressman 
[Martin] Dies, its first chairman, the chairman for many 
years was John Rankin of Mississippi, who was a vile example 
of all that was worst in American life. He was the man who 


referred openly in Congress to "niggers" and "kikes," and 
called the Ku Klux Klan an acceptable American institution. 
The committee opposed a fair employment practices act. 
It was against emergency housing for veterans of World War 
II. It was openly against the New Deal. Moreover, the 
function of committees of Congress is to propose legislation. 
This is why they have investigations, and I believe that 
this is a very sensible procedure from the point of view of 
a working democracy. Committees hold hearings and investiga- 
tions in order to gather facts, and upon the basis of the facts 
they have gathered, they propose legislation. However, in the 
first ten years of its existence — that is to say, from the 
time of its creations until the time that we were called to 
the stand--the legislative record of this committee was that 
one bill had been passed by Congress, and that was immediately 
declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. So, one had 
a right to ask, "What legislative purpose was it serving?" 

From 1947 on, its practical purpose was to promote 
thought control in the United States, to eliminate from 
public life every individual whose political ideas and 
activities the members of the committee did not like, and, 
if possible, to deprive them of work. Dissent, which is 
the beating heart of a democracy, was to be ended. And 
there was general agreement amongst the Nineteen that this 
committee was a cancer in the American body politic. The 
nineteen men were also agreed that the purpose of this 


investigation was for the committee to exert control over 
the film industry, and they agreed to oppose this and to 
carry out a public campaign against it. 

GARDNER: Let me break in and ask a question. I have a 
couple of questions here. First of all, how were you 
nineteen selected from all the possible persons who might 
have been? Do you have any idea? 

MALTZ: Yes, I think so. First, it's clear that they 
went after men who were--some of them who were most 
successful as screenwriters, but also very active 
organizationally, and were Communists. If they had chosen, 
let's say — instead of Trumbo, Lawson, Lardner, and myself-- 
four unsuccessful writers, it wouldn't have had the same 
impact. Then, they chose men who had been very active 
organizationally in the community. Now, Herbert Biberman, 
for instance, who had done very well in the theater, didn't 
do well in film, and possibly the main reason why he didn't 
do well was that he spent so much time on political matters, 
such as the Anti-Nazi League. He neglected his film 
career. And Samuel Ornitz had never been a distinguished 
screenwriter, and by the time the case came along, he was 
unemployable. But he had been very active in the Anti-Nazi 
League and in various organizations. And they had in 
mind the dossiers that they were going to read out after 
each man came to the stand. I think that covers a good 


many of the men. On the other hand, they chose someone 
like Larry Parks because he was a new star; I think the 
reason was that he was a new star. He was not an entrenched 
star who would be harder to knock over. They went after 
John Garfield later when they did their hearings in 1951 
and '52, because then their power was greater. But to have 
gone after John Garfield in 1947 was a less comfortable 
thing for them than going after someone whose name was 
known, but who was not as entrenched as a star. And I 
think that this about explains it. They also brought in 
a number of nonparty members because they had been 
organizationally — for instance, Howard Koch — active 
and had followed policies that were inimical to the 
committee, and the committee wanted to knock off such 
people also. And I guess that's the best answer I can 
give you. 

GARDNER: At the time that the Nineteen first started 
getting together, had there been a decision made as to 
legal counsel? 

MALTZ: No. No, I'm going to go on to that. 
GARDNER: Okay. Fine. I just wondered if — 
MALTZ: No, no, no. Now, this policy decision on the part 
of the Nineteen to oppose the committee led to some very 
practical decisions. There would be a need for a central 
office for research work to be done about the committee. 


There would be need for funds to pay for public advertisements 
And, very important, attorneys would have to be found. In 
order to get the money to pay for all of these, there was 
a mutual decision to assess ourselves chunks of money that 
we would throw into a kitty. Now, several of the members 
of the Nineteen had been employed for some time. Several 
were very wealthy, or should have been if they hadn't been 
careless with high sums earned over many years. And others 
were working. So assessment suggestions were made by a 
small committee that went from zero to $5,000. And a sum 
that I seem to recall was about $60,000 was raised from 
the Nineteen. Money would also have to be needed to pay 
for costs of travel to Washington and remaining in 
Washington, despite the fact that the committee paid travel 
fare and a small per diem. At that time, we made no 
appeal for funds to anyone else. 

On the legal question, the members of the Communist 
party had to meet privately, because their legal position 
was different from those who were not in the party. They, 
for instance, could not deny party membership without 
opening themselves to perjury, nor could they state freely 
that they were party members, which some of them wanted 
to do, because, as we quickly learned — I'm perhaps 
anticipating the discussions with the lawyers, but I'll 
state it now — if you went before this committee and stated, 


"Yes, I am a member of the Communist party," then you had 
legally opened the door for the committee to say, "Very 
good, now give us the names of others you know in the party." 
If you refused to give the names, then you would be held 
in contempt, and the law would be upheld, that you were 
indeed in contempt because you had answered one question 
on the part of the committee. And so what would you have 
gained by saying, "Yes, I am a member of the Communist 
party." These were the problems that we confronted. 

We agreed first on two lawyers, neither of whom I 
personally knew. One was Ben Margolis, who had come 
down around the year 1942 or so, I guess, from San Francisco, 
and the very first job he had had was writing the successful 
appeal brief for the zoot suit — 
GARDNER: The Sleepy Lagoon — 

MALTZ : --for the Sleepy Lagoon defendants. And on the 
basis of his brief, the conviction against them was reversed 
by the supreme court of California, and they were set 
free. And Margolis had been involved in various civil 
liberty cases since. The second, who was also a man deeply 
concerned with civil liberties matters, was Charles Katz, 
who was the personal lawyer of a number of the men. There 
were very lengthy discussions of the legal position that 
we might take, and the final decision we came to is best set 
forth in three letters that I want to include in the record. 


Two of them are a reply to an inquiry from me of Margolis 
and Katz, which I made in 1973, and the third is a reply 
by Margolis to an inquiry by Ring Lardner in 1977.* 
Now, do I just give you the letters, or do you want me to 
read them-- 

GARDNER: How long are they? 

MALTZ: Well, you take a look at them. [tape recorder 
turned off] Margolis and Katz recommended that — Oh, let 
me say that some of the Communist members of the Nineteen 
conveyed to the non-Communist members the general position, 
then, that we intended to take, and, I'm sure, recommended 
that they take the same. But I don't know what they might 
have taken if brought to the stand, but I do know that in 
one instance, at least, it was the intention of Koch-- 
because he later said this in a public advertisement--to 
state on the stand that he was not a member of the Communist 
party, but he didn't believe that the committee had the 
right to ask these questions. And this brings me to a 
very important distinction that must be made. It would 
legally have been a violation of the law, I think — maybe 
conspiracy--if all of us had agreed as to what we would 
say on the stand. And we didn't do that, because our 
lawyers advised us about this. [tape recorder turned off] 
I didn't know, for instance, what Lawson was going to say 

Sec supporting documents. 


when he got up as the first member of the Ten. I only 
knew he was going to oppose the committee as I would, and 
that he had been advised of the same legal pitfalls that 
I had. So that distinction was made. Margolis and Katz 
recommended that we ask Robert Kenny to join as chief 
counsel. Kenny, whom they knew, and I personally didn't, 
was former attorney general of California and was a man 
of lovely wit and great erudition. And the Nineteen went 
along with this suggestion. The attorneys talked with 
him, and he was in accord with the positions that we 
intended to take. He was very strong on civil liberties. 
Then Adrian Scott and Edward Dmytryk decided by themselves 
to get a more conservative lawyer who would represent 
them , and they asked Bartley Crum of San Francisco to 
be their attorney. Bartley Crum was a corporation lawyer 
who had represented the shipping companies in negotiations 
with the longshoremen. He had also been on a presidential 
committee on Palestine that issued a very important report. 

Kenny, Margolis, and Katz welcomed Crum as an associate, 
and, apparently, he was in agreement as to the positions 
that were going to be taken, and advised Dmytryk and Scott 
similarly. I might mention here that the lawyers received 
some modest fees from us for their work until the time we 
were blacklisted; and thereafter until the time we went to 
jail, and even after that, they worked for no fees whatsoever 


The research group that we created had on it a number of 

people. I remember two only: one was my old and dear 

friend, Philip Stevenson, who dropped his personal work 

to do research, and another was Andreas Deinum, a young 

man of Dutch birth, with whom I was very friendly, and 

who is now, I believe, on the faculty of the University 

of Oregon. They turned up some marvelous materials which 

we were able to use in public meetings and for statements, 

and so on. 

During this period, independent of anything the 

Nineteen did, the Committee for the First Amendment came 

into being. This committee was initially created by 

John Huston, William Wyler, Philip Dunne, and Alexander 

Knox— Dunne, a writer, and Knox an actor. The committee 

did not intend to support the Nineteen, but it did want 

to protest the investigation because it felt as we did 

about its purpose. In early October, it issued a public 

statement of which this is an excerpt: 

We, the undersigned, as American citizens who believe 
in constitutional democratic government, are disgusted 
and outraged by the continuing attempt of the House 
Committee on Un-American Activities to smear the 
motion picture industry. We hold that these hearings 
are morally wrong, because any investigation into 
the political beliefs of the individual is contrary 
to the basic principles of our democracy. Any 
attempt to curb freedom of expression and to set 
arbitrary standards of "Americanism" is in itself 
disloyalty to both the spirit and the letter of the 
Constitution . . . Even at the risk of being called 


Reds by those who deliberately refuse to make 
important distinctions, our chief concern is 
still to protect and defend the First Amendment 
to the Constitution of the United States. 

[tape recorder turned off] 

By October, this committee had a membership of 500 
prominent individuals, including many screen stars. It did 
much private talking to producers and executives, trying 
to get them to take a stand against the committee. The 
Screen Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild had issued 
similar statements attacking the committee, and in New York 
a Stop Censorship Committee was formed, which attacked the 
hearings. In the L.A. press, however, there was already a 
procommittee , anti-Red campaign going on in the Hearst 
press, which at that time was a very strong nationwide 
chain. And also, on the part of the Hollywood Reporter , a 
trade paper, and on /the part of columnists Hedda Hopper 
and Louella Parsons, who were purveyors of gossip who 
were read nationally. 

The Progressive Citizens of America staged a testimonial 
rally at the Shrine Auditorium on October 15, very shortly 
before we left for Washington. I believe the Shrine seats 
about 5,000 people. 
GARDNER: Some 5,000 or 6,000. 

MALTZ: All of the Nineteen except Brecht were present. I 
think we sat on the stage, but I don't remember, and not 


all of us spoke, and I find that I don't remember whether 
I did. Of course, we made good use of the research material 
there in exposing the history of the committee, and in 
discussing our general opposition to it. 

The hearings were scheduled to open in Washington on 
October 20. We left on the sixteenth, yes, and arrived in 
Chicago, and that night we spoke to a meeting of about 
a thousand people in a hotel. We came to Washington the 
next afternoon, and that evening, or the one after, appeared 
in another public meeting before an audience that was only 
several hundred, because Washington was, after all, a 
company town. We stayed at the Shoreham Hotel, which was 
one of the best and most expensive hotels in Washington. 
A certain number of the wives of the Nineteen had come 
along, and their costs were assumed by the individuals. 
My wife was one of them. And as I recall, we were all 
quartered on one of two floors, and one of the rooms was 
a large suite where we could meet with our attorneys. 
The number of our attorneys was increased by two in 
Washington: Martin Popper, who was secretary, I think, 
of the Lawyers Guild, or president, and by a constitutional 
lawyer, Sam Rosenwein. 

Bertolt Brecht was there, but he didn't come to our 
meetings. At some point I did meet him after the many years 
since the Theatre Union. I shook hands and said hello, 


politely, as he did to me, but I had no more to do with him. 

I was still angry at him for the Theatre Union. 

GARDNER: Was there any reason that he didn't participate 

with the others? Was it the language barrier? 

MALTZ : No, it was that he was not a citizen. 

GARDNER: It was his nonci tizenship . 

MALTZ: He was not a citizen, and he was going to take a 

stand that was all his own. And this was legally right. 

He was not going to be mixed up with us, on the advice of 

attorneys. And I might mention that several days after 

arrival, my wife and I left the Shoreham, because we wanted 

more quiet and privacy after the day was over than we could 

get at the Shoreham, where everybody was always knocking 

on everyone else's door to discuss the events of the day. 

Just before the hearings opened, a most bizarre meeting 
occurred in our central room. We were told by our attorneys 
that the chief counsel of the CIO, Lee Pressman, a man whom 
we knew well by reputation, because his name had been in the 
newspapers a great many times, wanted to talk with us. We 
assumed that he wanted to meet to give us some advice and 
support, and so on. Instead we found ourselves listening 
to a man who was in a state close to hysteria. The central 
thing he had to say was that although we were taking a fine 
stand, that was not enough; that unless we literally destroyed 
the committee in this hearing, we would fail our obligation 


to the American people. We looked at one another in 

great dismay. How the hell could we destroy the committee 

in this hearing? And he was a husky, good-looking man, 

I guess in his forties, and his quite evident hysteria 

was most disquieting and was a presage of what he was 

going to do within another two years. I will mention 

him later, because I met him again in Washington. 

On Sunday night, October 19, with the hearing 

scheduled to begin the next day, there was a most important 

meeting between our attorneys and representatives of the 

film studios. By this time, the committee had leaked to the 

press the fact that it was going to ask for the blacklisting 

of noncooperative witnesses in their work in the film 

industry, and so this meeting involved that fact. For the 

studios, there were Eric Johnston, president of the Motion 

Picture Association of America, Maurice Benjamin, an 

attorney, and Paul McNutt, another attorney, who had been 

high commissioner of the Philippines . The producers ' 

representatives-- I am now reading from Gordon Kahn's book, 

The Hollywood Ten [ Hollywood on Trial ], page 5: 

The producers' representatives were shown copies 
of the memorandum filed by the attorneys for the 
Nineteen, in which the authority of the Un-American 
Activities Committee to issue subpoenas was 
challenged. "We are maintaining," said Kenny, 
"that the Thomas committee aims at censorship of 
the screen by intimidation. 

I'll explain that, by this time, the chairman of the 

committee was [J.] Parnell Thomas. 


This accusation is not merely rumor. There 
is ample reason for this in the public 
statements of its chairman. Mr. Johnston 
replied, "We share your feelings, gentlemen, 
and we support your position." Mr. Kenny 
then remarked, "The subject with which we 
are chiefly concerned is the character of 
the statements attributed to J. Parnell 
Thomas by the newspapers . He was quoted 
as saying that the producers had agreed to 
establish a blacklist throughout the motion 
picture industry." Indignantly, Eric Johnston 
answered, "That report is nonsense. As long 
as I live, I will never be a party to anything 
as un-American as a blacklist. And any 
statement purporting to quote me as agreeing 
to a blacklist is a libel upon me as a good 
American." Mr. Crum rose to shake Mr. Johnston's 
hand, saying, "Eric, I knew you were being 
misquoted. I'd never believe that you would 
go along with anything as vicious as a blacklist 
in a democracy." "Tell the boys not to worry," 
Johnston concluded, "There'll never be a 
blacklist. We're not going to go totalitarian 
to please this committee." 


GARDNER: Famous last words, as the saying goes. 

MALTZ : So we were given this good news on the eve of the 

hearings. It is relevant to mention that timed with the 

hearings, the Hearst newspapers throughout the nation 

started a carefully timed campaign for a federal police 

censorship of the motion picture industry. Quoting from 

Kahn again, on page 139: 

Emblazoned on the front pages owned by Mr. Hearst was 

this message: 

The need is for federal censorship of motion 
pictures. The Constitution permits it. The 
law sanctions it. The safety and welfare of 
America demands it. 


GARDNER: A newspaperman coming out for censorhip. 
What a contradiction. 
MALTZ : Oh, boy! 

The hearings were held in the caucus room on the 
second floor of the old House Office Building. It was a 
very large room with seats perhaps for about 300 people. 
There was always a long line on the stairway leading up 
from the ground floor rotunda to the caucus room, with 
police in attendance to see that order was kept. The 
committee members sat behind a wide table in front of the 
seats, and there were newsreel cameras, all the radio 
networks, and TV cameras (although TV was then in its 
infancy), and there were ninety reporters in attendance. 

The committee members present were always chairman 
J. Parnell Thomas, [John] McDowell of Pennsylvania, 
[Richard B.] Vail of Colorado, and a freshman Congressman, 
[Richard M.] Nixon of California, and most of the time, 
or part of the time, [John S.] Wood of Georgia. It's 
perhaps worth mentioning as a passing piece of comedy that 
chairman Thomas was a small, pudgy, red-faced man, and 
when he was seated on his chair, was too small to be caught 
by the television cameras, and so he sat on a cushion 
placed on top of a telephone book. [laughter] 
GARDNER: I didn't realize that. 
MALTZ: Yes. Rankin was never present. The chief 


investigator was Robert E. Stripling. I'll be making 
mention of him after these hearings, once again, in the 
year 1953 or '54 when he was fired. He, like the other 
investigators, were all former FBI men, and it was very 
evident in the hearings that the committee got its data 
from the FBI. I might pause just to explain why. This 
committee had several investigators. It had money to 
do investigations. 


NOVEMBER 29, 19 78 

MALTZ : When the committee put the political dossiers of 

the various unfriendly witnesses into the record, there 

were items in it that went back to the early 1930s, years 

before the committee had been even created. Now, it was 

clear that the FBI had files that dated to that time and 

that it would have been an enormous work of duplication for 

the committee to try to get similar files, much more 

difficult, since papers were out of date and so on. And 

in view of the support that J. Edgar Hoover gave the 

committee, and the committee gave Hoover, in the presence 

of the former FBI men on the staff of the committee, it 

was not hard to feel confident that the origin of the 

files of the committee were in the files of the FBI. 

The chairman, Parnell Thomas, opened the hearing 

with a statement of its purpose. I am reading now from 

page 1 of Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American 

Activities, House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, 

First Session, printed by the United States Government 

Printing Office, and it's entitled: Hearings Regarding 

the Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry . 

Thomas said: 

Before this hearing gets under way, I would like 
to call attention to some of the basic principles 
by which the Committee on Un-American Activities 
is being guided in its investigation into alleged 


subversive influence in America's motion picture 
industry . . . We all recognize, certainly, the 
tremendous effect which moving pictures have on 
their mass audiences, far removed from the 
Hollywood sets. We all recognize that what 
the citizen sees and hears in his neighborhood 
movie house carries a powerful impact on his 
thoughts and behavior. With such vast influence 
over the lives of American citizens as the 
motion picture industry exerts, it is not 
unnatural--in fact, it is very logical--that 
subversive and undemocratic forces should 
attempt to use this medium for un-American 
purposes . 

Now, clearly, then, the hearings were to be an inquiry 
into the use of the film medium by Communists for subversive 
purposes. But, on page 3, he was already shifting the 
purpose of the hearings somewhat, because he said: "The 
question before this committee, therefore, and the scope 
of its present inquiry, will be to determine the extent of 
communist infiltration in the Hollywood motion picture 
industry. We want to know what strategic positions in the 
industry have been captured by these elements, whose loyalty 
is pledged in word and deed to the interests of a foreign 
power . " 

Now, there's a distinction between saying that there 
were Communists working in the industry, and finding out 
what positions they hold, from saying that they were 
influencing the product which people saw in their movie 
houses. In a way, it was a shift; in another way, what 
he was doing was linking the two. That is to say, he was 
trying to establish the position that, if he could find 


Communists in the motion picture industry, then, ipso 
facto, they must be influencing the content of the motion 
pictures. And as would be seen in the course of the 
hearings, this would be done without ever referring to any 
except three wartime pro-Soviet motion pictures, but not 
to others. Now, I am taking for granted, of course, that 
any scholar interested in looking at my oral history would 
read the materials of the hearing themselves, but there 
are certain things that I want to point out about them. 

In the first week of the friendly witnesses, Jack Warner 
was the first important witness, as head of Warner Brothers 
films. He was on the spot with the committee, because 
his studio had produced Mission to Moscow , which the 
committee considered to be outrageous Red propaganda. So 
he was out to prove--and this he had done, of course, in 
wartime, when Russia was our ally--that he was an 
American patriot who never had allowed anything in his 
movies that was communist. And that, indeed, he was 
such a diligent bloodhound in watching out for Communist 
efforts to inject propaganda into Warner Brothers films 
that he had, in fact, fired an entire slew of Communist 
writers. And he named them. They were Alvah Bessie, 
Gordon Kahn, Guy Endore, Howard Koch (one of the authors 
of Casablanca ) , Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, 
myself, Robert Rossen, Irwin Shaw, Dalton Trumbo, John Wexley 


All of this was to substantiate the committee's charge 
that Communist propagandists were slipping propaganda into 
films. And he said that he had fired us because we had 
tried to put Communist propaganda into films, or he had 
found out that we were Communists and he wouldn't have 
Communists on his payroll. 

One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I didn't 
jump up in the hearing room at that time and shout out that 
he was a perjurer. Because I could easily have proven that 
he was, inasmuch as, ever since I had last worked at Warner 
Brothers, on, I guess, Cloak and Dagger --or ever since I 
had finished with Pride of the Marines --they had not only 
offered me a contract, but they had called my agent about 
every two weeks since, and, in fact, two weeks before I 
went to the hearing, there had been a call to her to ask 
if I would take a film job. So that it would have been 
very easy to prove that he never fired me. 

Howard Koch had insisted upon getting out of his 
Warner Brothers contract after the violent behavior of 
Warner Brothers police against strikers in front of the 
studio — back-lot strikers. And I have not been able to 
ascertain whether it was Koch himself who paid Warner 
Brothers $10,000 to get out of a contract, or whether it 

was [Samuel] Goldwyn who paid Warner Brothers $25,000 

to take over Koch's contract, but there was clear evidence 


by canceled check that Koch had not been fired. And the 
same was true of all of the other people. This was a 
list that Warner had been supplied by the committee when 
he was in secret executive session with them during the 
previous summer, and he was brazen enough to come out with 
this piece of perjury. 

Now, the reason why I didn't jump up and yell that 
he was a perjurer was that the Nineteen had decided upon 
a policy which--it had still not ended — was that we agreed 
that we would not attack the producers; we would attack the 
committee only, because the First Amendment committee was 
still at work, and we hoped that we would still bring the 
producers into open opposition against the committee. Well, 
that was a sensible policy, and maybe I myself was in error 
in not seeing that we could maintain that policy while 
taking a different position with an individual executive 
who was indeed on the side of the committee. In any instance, 
I felt bound, whether rightly or wrongly, by that policy 
decision, and so I didn't say anything. I have really 
never ceased regretting it, because it would have been a 
sensational thing to do in the most useful sense. I would 
have been thrown out of the hearing room, the reporters 
would have crowded around me, and I could have proved that 
he was a perjurer. 
GARDNER: Right at the beginning of the hearing. 


MALTZ: Right from the first witness. Now, Warner's 
testimony was an example of the outrageous unfairness of 
these hearings, because we were not allowed to cross-examine 
him, or any other witnesses, and also we could not sue them, 
legally, because testimony given on the stand is privileged 
and not open to libel suits. And when we got on the stand 
in our turn, we weren't allowed by the chairman to discuss 
the testimony that anyone had given against us. There is 
the question of why we didn't call a press conference, say, 
every afternoon after the hearings were over, to discuss 
the given testimony, and the reason for that was twofold. 
On the whole, what was going on in the press was good, because 
the press in general was very critical--not the Hearst press- 
but the press in general was very critical of the way these 
hearings were conducted. And, in that sense, we were 
getting a good press, so that we didn't want to rock the 
boat. But secondly, we felt that if we called a press 
conference, there were bound to be some reporters who 
would just keep insisting on asking whether we were members 
of the Communist party, and that that would be so disruptive 
that we would not be able to get across anything else we 
wanted to do. And certainly that's what the Hearst 
reporters there would do; we couldn't keep them out. 

Now, Warner also made, in his testimony, a specific 
reference to my film Pride of the Marines . And he was 
asked to identify the films that those writers he had fired 


had worked on, and when he came to my name, and stated 

"Maltz in Pride of the Marines ," the chairman, at this 

point, asked, "Did Maltz get much into Pride of the Marines ?" 

"No," said Warner, "but he tried." And he said that he 

ran the film himself, and he detected "one little thing 

where the fellow on the train says, 'My name isn't Jones, 

so I can't get a job.'" This isn't an accurate quote 

from what was said in the film, but that's the way Warner 

put it. And Warner went on to say, "It was this kid named 

Diamond, a Jewish boy, in the Marines, a hero at Guadalcanal." 

Warner said that there might have been something there, but 

if there was, he didn't really recognize it. And he said, 

"Some of these lines have innuendos and double meanings 

and things like that, and you have to take eight or ten 

Harvard law courses to find out what they mean." 

Mr. Stripling: They are very subtle. 
Mr. Warner: Exceedingly so. 

Now, on the one hand, it's so dirty on his part, and 

on the other hand, it's so ridiculous. I made mention 

in discussing the preview of Pride of the Marines that 

Warner stood beside me in the urinal and told me how 

pleased he was by this particular scene in the film. And it 

is this very scene that he picks out to say, out of one 

side of his mouth, that that was my attempt to get some 

Communist propaganda into it, and on the other hand to say 

quickly out of the other side of his mouth, however, he 


didn't think there was anything there because it was so 

subtle that you have to take eight or ten Harvard law 

courses to find out what they mean. And the chief investigator, 

Stripling, plays along with him, and they do this strange 

charade to both confirm and deny that there was propaganda 

that I put into a film. A little later in the testimony, 

they were talking about Action in the North Atlantic , 

a Warner Brothers film that John Howard Lawson had written, 

and Warner says, "Naturally, John Howard Lawson tried to 

swing a lot of things in there, but to my knowledge 

there wasn't anything." 

Mr. Stripling: John Howard Lawson tried to put stuff in? 
Mr. Warner: Yes, I would say he did in one form or 
another . 

But they don't go on to say what. And this is a 
congressional committee. The highest body of our land, 
[laughter] Of course, J. Parnell Thomas, perhaps one 
might say, had not had much training in investigative 
techniques. He had been previously a stockbroker and an 
insurance man. Now, these statements by Warner, however, 
bore directly on the charge that Communists were sneaking 
Communist party propaganda into films, and it's perhaps 
at this point relevant to mention exactly what does happen 
with a film script. 

Any film script that is made into a film had to be 
read at that time by the producer, who worked with a 
writer, and by the secretary or secretaries who typed it; 


and if the producer felt satisfied with it, it then had 
to go up to the executives . And there it was read by a 
number of executives before it was produced--for instance, 
in Warner Brothers, at least by Warner's important assistant 
Steve Trilling, and if it was to be an expensive film, 
presumably by Jack Warner himself. And then a director was 
called in, and the producer called in also an art director 
and hired a cameraman, and copies of the script went to 
the various backstage departments, to the costumer, and to 
the set people, and to the casting director. And then as it 
approached production, scripts went to the actors who were 
called in on it, and certainly as it was in production, 
the dialogue was heard by everyone on the set, let's say 
twenty or thirty or forty grips of various sorts. So we 
have at least 100, let's say, 100 percent pure Americans 
who have pored over or listened to this script on its way 
to production. And after each day's shooting, it is looked 
at by the director and the producer and the executives of 
the studio, and in spite of this fine-tooth examination, 
the assertion is made by the committee that Communist 
propaganda is being put into films, and nobody sees it 
because it's so subtle, and yet it has a powerful influence 
on the American people. 

Now, this, of course, is Alice in Wonderland absurdity, 
but one has to ask why there were not investigative reporters, 
such as the ones who investigated Watergate, who found out 


facts like this which were not at all secret. No Deep Throat 

was needed to reveal what happened to a film script in 

Hollywood. And indeed, in his testimony, Louis B. Mayer, 

who followed Warner to the stand, made a general reference 

to the fact that "our scripts are read and reread by so 

many of the executive force, producers, and editors, that 

if you looked carefully at 1,200 to 1,500 pictures I produced 

with my people out at the studio, you would be surprised 

how little you could possibly point to, even now, when we 

are on the lookout for it." But the press never picked 

up on it to say, "This is nonsense." And this was of the 

temper of the time, that this should have been said. 

Now, there was a further absurd charge that came into 

the hearings in the testimony of a well-known director, 

Sam Wood, which was that Communists in the industry were 

carrying on a blacklist against non-Communists. Here's 

the testimony [p. 59]: 

MR. STRIPLING: Now, Mr. Wood, would you give the 
committee some of these examples in which the 
Communists have exerted influence in the motion 
picture industry? In other words, how do they 
go about it? What are the mechanics of it? 

MR. WOOD: . . . For instance, a man gets a key 
position in the studio and has charge of the 
writers. When you, as a director or a producer, 
are ready for a writer you ask for a list and 
this man shows you a list. Well, if he is 
following the party line his pets are on top 
or the other people aren't on it at all. If 
there is a particular man in there who has 
been opposing them they will leave his name 
off the list. Then if that man isn't employed 


for about two months, they will go to the head 
of the studio and say, "Nobody wants this man." 
The head is perfectly honest about it and says, 
"Nobody wants to use him, let him go." So a 
good American is let out. But it doesn't 
stop there. They point that out as an example 
and say, "You better fall in line, play ball, 
or else." And they go down the line on it. 

MR. STRIPLING: That is true in the case of writers. 
Would you say it is true in any other branch of 
the industry? 

MR. WOOD: I don't think, in any part of the 
business, they will use a party who is opposed 
to their ideas, if they can avoid it, and they 
can usually avoid it. 

MR. STRIPLING: They operate as cliques, in other 

MR. WOOD: Oh, yes, they have their meetings every 
night. They are together; they work for one 
purpose . 

And that's the end of his testimony on that. Well, 

this is something that, again, any investigative reporter 

would have found out is absurd, because, in fact, there 

were no Communists in any key positions in the industry 

in a position to do something like this--aside from the 

fact of whether or not they would have wanted to, or 

could get away with it if they tried it. But they weren't 

in hiring positions. Furthermore, directors don't live in 

limbo: they know who the good writers are. They know 

who writers are whom they want. And, finally, to say as 

he did that if a writer hasn't been working for two 

months the studio will not want him is, again, Alice in 

Wonderland nonsense. So, we have here something that 


I think was created in the back rooms of the committee 
as a kind of fiction story to say, "Let's add this onto 
it, this will sound good." And they put it in. 

Wood also testified that Communists, or alleged Commu- 
nists, had tried to take over the [Screen] Directors Guild. 
Now, I'm sure that the Communists, or the progressives in 
the Guild, may have advocated some policies that Sam Wood 
was opposed to. But just how this contributed to the 
corruption of the 85 million moviegoers each week was never 
explained. Wood went on to explain why he had been one 
of the organizers of the Motion Picture Alliance for the 
Preservation of American Ideals. He said, "Well, the reason 
was very simple. We organized in self-defense. We felt 
that there was a definite effort by the Communist party 
members, or party travelers, to take over the unions and 
the guilds of Hollywood, and if they had the unions and 
the guilds controlled, they would have the plum in their 
lap, and they would move on to use it for Communist 
propaganda." Well, the plum, of course, here, obviously 
stands for the film industry. This is another piece of 
Alice in Wonderland, because if you had all of the guilds 
and unions headed by the Communists, they still wouldn't 
be buying a given novel to do in a film studio, and the 
decisions on what would be done and what would not be done 
were all in the hands of the executives who owned the studios 

6 59 

Now, Mr. Nixon, our future president, made his 

contribution in these hearings in the following way. He 

said, with Wood on the stand, "So far as this group is 

concerned" (this group being the Communists) , "it is 

'thought control' whenever the motion picture industry 

might make an anti-Communist film; but it isn't 'thought 

control ' if they were to make an antifascist or an 

anti-Nazi film? In other words, they welcome the first 

but oppose the latter?" 

MR. WOOD: If you would read the review of that 
meeting of the "thought conference" held at 
Beverly Hills Hotel [Conference on Thought 
Control] you would know exactly what was in 
their mind. It is only one thing. It is not 
America. As far as investigation is concerned, 
we would welcome an investigation. [Maltz: He 
means, "We, the Motion Picture Alliance."] Our 
books are open to you at any time. 

MR. NIXON: You have indicated that the main 
success of those who follow the Communist 
line in Hollywood has not been in what they 
have been able to get into pictures but what 
they have been able to get out? 

MR. WOOD: I think they are both dangerous, 
but I think what they keep out is doubly 
dangerous. You wouldn't notice that. If 
the script is accepted, you don't check back. 
I do . I generally go back over the book and 
try to check to see if anything important was 
left out. But if they don't check back, they 
leave things out that puts this country and 
our way of living in a favorable light. 

And I merely note that no reference was made to any 

specific film. 


At the end of Wood's testimony, a comedy routine 
was played out by the chairman that was standard for the 
friendly witnesses. Wood was congratulated for his 
courage in appearing before the committee and damning 
Communists in films. "In other words," said the chairman, 
"you've got guts." Just how and why it took such courage 
[laughter] in 1947 to go to Washington and say, "I hate 
Communists," I don't know. 

Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , the second 
important friendly witness, took a different position from 
Warner. He said that he hadn't fired any Communists, because 
no Red propaganda had been slipped into any of his films. 
However, he acknowledged that several writers under contract-- 
Trumbo, Cole, Donald Ogden Stewart--had been called 
Communists. When pressured, he agreed that he wouldn't 
have any of them on his payroll, if it became clear that 
they advocated the overthrow of our government. And it 
was this that the committee wanted to get out of him. 
There was then a carefully prepared piece of dialogue 
between the committee and Mayer, and between the committee 
and other friendly witnesses at this point, and it's 
best exemplified by dialogue between Stripling and 
Adolphe Menjou, who was soon to take the stand. [tape 
recorder turned off] I misspoke myself a little bit, 
just before we stopped. I want to go back. When pressured, 


Louis Mayer agreed that he wouldn't have any of the men 

who had been called Communists on his payroll if it 

became clear that they advocated the overthrow of the 

government. And it was this that the committee wanted to 

get out of him. 

Now, another point: the carefully prepared dishonest 

dialogue between the committee and friendly witnesses is 

well illustrated by this exchange between Stripling and 

Adolphe Menjou, the actor. 

MR. STRIPLING: As an actor, Mr. Menjou, could 
you tell the committee whether or not an actor 
in a picture could portray a scene which would 
in effect serve as propaganda for communism or 
any other un-American purpose? 

MR. MENJOU: Oh, yes. I believe that under 
certain circumstances a communistic director, 
a communistic writer, or a communistic actor, 
even if he were under orders from the head of 
the studio not to inject communism or 
un-Americanism or subversion into pictures, 
could easily subvert that order, under the 
proper circumstances, by a look, by an 
inflection, by a change in the voice. I think 
it could be easily done. I have never seen 
it done, but I think it could be done. 

MR. STRIPLING: You don't know of any examples? 

MR. MENJOU: I cannot think of one at the 
moment. No sir. 

Now, this is just incredible! [laughter] 

GARDNER: Alice in Wonderland is really the most apt 


MALTZ : Incredible! But just think, you have ninety 

reporters ! 


GARDNER: One wonders, you're right. Certainly journals 

such as the Nation must have picked up and had the 

material, and yet there really wasn't anything major 

that I can recall in the reading that I did in the press 

of the Left in research in different places-- 

MALTZ: I think — 

GARDNER: — until later, until the fifties. 

MALTZ : Well, even in the fifties-- You see, I have on my 

shelf books on the hearings and all that touch upon and 

deal with them, and they deal in a generalized way. 

They don't go into examining this kind of-- 

GARDNER: Right! 

MALTZ: --this kind of analysis of the points. And that's 

why I'm doing it here, and that's what has failed to 

be done. 

GARDNER: But it is surprising that even the left- liberal 

magazines didn't go into greater detail. 

MALTZ: Well, one would have to come back to the time; it 

may well be that they picked out certain things. But 

their space is limited, and so~ 

GARDNER: And their readership was definitely limited 

at that time. 

MALTZ: Well, the same readership I think they have now. 

GARDNER: Perhaps. 

MALTZ: I don't think it's grown — 


GARDNER: It goes up and down. 

MALTZ : There was testimony from John Charles Moffitt, who 

was a screenwriter and a journalist and a film critic. 

He'd had quite some years of being a critic. He also had 

some prepared dialogue that was extremely artificial and 

vulgar, and again I note that none of the books I have read 

that touch on the hearings have mentioned it, and the 

question is: "Why not?" and, "Why didn't allegedly serious 

scholars of the period pick up items like this? 

MR. MOFFITT: ... I had several conversations 
with Mr. Biberman, Mr. Lawson, and others of 
that organization. 

During the course of it, Mr. Lawson made this 
significant statement: He said: 

As a writer, do not try to write an 
entire communist picture . . . The 
producers will quickly identify it 
and it will be killed by the front 
office ... As a writer try to get 
five minutes of the Communist doctrine, 
five minutes of the party line in 
every script you write . . . Get that 
into an expensive scene, a scene 
involving expensive stars, large 
sets or many extras, because . . . 
then even if it is discovered by 
the front office, the business 
manager of the unit, the very 
watchdog of the treasury, the very 
servant of capitalism, in order to 
keep the budget from going too high, 
will resist the elimination of that 
scene. If you can make the message 
come from the mouth of Gary Cooper 
or some other important star who is 
unaware of what he is saying, by 
the time it is discovered, he is in 
New York, and a great deal of expense 


will be involved to bring him back and 
reshoot the scene. 

If you get the message into a scene 
employing many extras it will be very 
expensive to reshoot that scene because 
of the number of extras involved or 
the amount of labor that would be 
necessary to light and reconstruct a 
large set. 

Said Moffitt, concluding, "That was the nucleus of what he 

said at that time." 

Now, since I went in earlier and described how many 

people had to read a script, this thing is incredibly, 

not only phony, but it's so stupidly phony. But I have 

seen this quoted again and again by people who were 

procommittee as an example of serious testimony right 

from the mouth of John Howard Lawson. Similarly, 

Mr. Moffitt said [ Hearings , p. 121]: 

I think that the most infamous aspect of Lawson' s 

technique is that of involving innocent people. 

I think that many a time that actor plays 

that five minutes without knowing the significance 

of what he is doing. I think on many occasions— 

I think on practically every occasion that I 

know of, the producer, both the associate 

producer and the studio heads, was in complete 

ignorance of what was done. I think, very 

often, the director may not know. Now, this 

is done occasionally in pictures involving 

budgets of one-and-a-half or two-million 

dollars. That gets into the picture, and 

if I name that picture I will be working 

a hardship on innocent people. I would 

very much prefer, with your permission, 

to name those pictures in executive 



Here you have the director, the executives, and they 
all don't know that that five minutes is in the script, 
[laughter] But he doesn't want to name any pictures; he's 
going to whisper it in executive session. You know, 
this nightmare of incredible statements. 

Rupert Hughes, a writer, testified that the reason 
anti-Communist films weren't made (which was another of 
the committee's questions) was because producers had been 
told that Communists would destroy the upholstery and 
put stink bombs in any theater that played them. The fact 
that dozens of anti-Communist films were exhibited in 
subsequent years without damage to upholstery or stink 
bombs in the theaters has gone unnoticed. 

The committee was constantly pushing the policy of a 

blacklist in a very open way with the friendly witnesses. 

But it found resistance on two grounds. Some said they 

didn't think employment should be conditioned by a 

writer's politics, and others were afraid that depriving 

a person of his right to work would come into the area of 

conspiracy, of felony. So that by the time James McGuinness, 

an MGM executive, came to the stand, the committee had 

formulated a way of getting around both objections. Here 

is Congressman Wood of the committee. I'm referring 

to the Hearings , page 150: 

MR. WOOD: Wouldn't it be very simple, in your 
opinion, Mr. McGuinness, if the Congress would 
simply by a mandatory legislation provide that 


the controlling heads of any industry may, if 
they have reasonable grounds to conclude that 
a man is engaged in activities detrimental to 
this Government, and aiding a philosophy that 
is designed to overthrow it, would have the 
right to eliminate them and that other people 
in that industry would have the right to decline 
to employ them for that reason, without fear of 
future legal implications? 

MR, McGUINNESS: I agree to that in principle, 

Mr. Wood. 

And then, Mr. Nixon, our future president, summed up 

another aspect of the testimony of McGuinness in the 

following way [ Hearings , p. 151]: 

MR. NIXON: In other words, the situation at the 
present time is that those who are following 
the Communist line as writers in Hollywood are 
under direction to distort the facts about 
America and to suppress the facts about 
totalitarian communism? 

MR. McGUINNESS: I believe that to be true, 
[tape recorder turned off] 

However, neither Nixon nor any other member of the 
committee saw fit to ask McGuinness to name one film in 
which distortion occurred at the present time. I'm 
separating out other films from the three that the committee 
attacked: Mission to Moscow , Soul of Russia , and North Star 
were the three films made about the Soviet Union during the 
war. And then came some stars. Robert Taylor played footsie 
with the committee, and was congratulated on his patriotism 
for being such an honest witness, even though he would 
suffer Communist criticism for it and might be hurt at the 


box office. Howard Rushmore, a former film critic of the 

Daily Worker testified that I was one of the writers sent 

out by the Communist party in New York to Hollywood. He 

specifically stated that I and others did not go on our 

own. He also stated that before any manuscript could 

be sent to a publisher by a Communist party member, it 

had to be submitted to his cultural commission for approval. 

Of course, no cross-examination was ever allowed. 

The actors Robert Montgomery, George Murphy, Ronald 

Reagan, and Gary Cooper were presented in succession, 

because in addition to being glamorous stars, their expert 

advice was needed on the constitutionality of a law making 

the Communist party illegal. The level of intelligence and 

probity in these hearings reached a triumphant peak in the 

following statements by Mrs. Lela Rogers (the mother of 

Ginger Rogers, the actress) and Congressman McDowell of 

Pennsylvania. Now, I'm going to read from page 236 of the 

Hearings : 

MRS. [LELA] ROGERS: Remember, Communists are 
in control of many of the schools, your clubs, 
your study clubs, even the little women's 
clubs, where women come to read books to them 
and explain plays to them. Communists have 
their cohorts that do the reading and choosing 
of the books--and the leftist book always got 
by beautifully. It has been a long time since 
we have had the feeling that we have a clear 
school, that our children are being taught 
about America. I think that when we show the 
people America, as against the face of this 
thing, we have just about licked it. 


THE CHAIRMAN: Well, can't the moving-picture 
industry aid in that to a great extent? 

MRS. ROGERS: Oh, immeasurably, but it has been 
a long time since you could get a good American 
story bought in the motion picture industry. 

Aside from the marvelous patriotism she displays, and 
her clear understanding of what's going on in the United 
States, the clarity of her thoughts and the way she expresses 
them are also to be admired. [laughter] 

Most of the friendly witnesses were asked to give 
testimony about the effort of the Communists to take over 
the unions in the film industry, particularly the Screen 
Writers Guild, and it was constantly asserted that if these 
efforts were successful, the Communists would then control 
the industry itself and the content of films. And I've 
already commented on the absurdity of this. The hearings 
had made national headlines, and of course the presence of 
the film stars augmented this, and that was why they had 
been summoned. There was strong press criticism of the 
hearings at this point, and there had been during the week. 
I'm now reading from Report on Blacklisting by John Cogley, 
published by the Fund for the Republic: 

After two days of the hearings, the New York 
Herald commented that the testimony so far had 
"produced exactly what was expected of them." 
Mr. Thomas's labor, the paper declared, 


had brouaht forth "an abundance of unsub- 
stantiated charges, some dizzying, new 
definitions of communism, and a satisfactory 
collection of clippings for the Congressman's 
own scrapbook." The editorial asserted that 
the beliefs of men and women who write for the 
screen are like the beliefs of any ordinary 
men and women, and nobody's business but 
their own, as the Bill of Rights mentions. 

That was certainly a good statement, but, as I look 
back and compare the activities of the press around 
Watergate with its activities at the time of the hearings, 
I feel that the press should have been much more engaged 
than it was in combating what the committee did. And of 
course, in succeeding years, it became less and less 
critical until it ceased criticism altogether. 

In the testimony the friendly witnesses took up the 

entire first week of the hearings, and in the second week 

came the testimony of John Howard Lawson as the first 

of the Ten. Before he came to the stand, our attorneys, 

Kenny and Crum, made two vain attempts to attack the 

committee legally. For instance, here was one of them, 

and I'm reading from page 289 of the Hearings : 

MR. CRUM: May I request the right of cross-examination? 
I ask you to bring back and permit us to cross-examine 
the witnesses Adolphe Menjou, Fred Niblo, John 
Charles Moffitt, Richard Macauley, Rupert Hughes, 
Sam Wood, Ayn Rand, James McGuinness — 

THE CHAIRMAN: The request — 

MR. CRUM: Howard Rushmore — 


(The chairman pounding gavel.) 

MR. CRUM: Morrie Ryskind, Oliver Carlson-- 

THE CHAIRMAN: The request is denied. 

MR. CRUM: In order to show that these witnesses 

THE CHAIRMAN: That request is denied. Mr. Stripling, 
the first witness. 

MR. STRIPLING: John Howard Lawson. 

And Lawson was brought to the stand. 


NOVEMBER 29, 1978 

MALTZ : Contrary to the practice in the first week with 

the friendly witnesses, here was the dialogue about 

Lawson's request to read a statement, page 290 of the 

Hearings : 

MR. LAWSON: Mr. Chairman, I have a statement 
here which I wish to make-- 

THE CHAIRMAN: Well, all right; let me see your 

statement. (statement handed to the chairman) 

. . . I don't care to read any more of the statement, 

The statement will not be read. I read the 

first line. 

MR. LAWSON: You have spent one week vilifying 
me before the American public-- 

THE CHAIRMAN: Just a minute — 

MR. LAWSON: And you refuse to allow me to make 
a statement on my rights as an American citizen. 

THE CHAIRMAN: I refuse you to make the statement, 
because of the first sentence in your statement. 
That statement is not pertinent to the inquiry. 

Now, this is a congressional committee--a 
congressional committee set up by law. We must 
have orderly procedure, and we are going to 
have orderly procedure. Mr. Stripling, identify 
the witness. 

MR. LAWSON: The rights of American citizens are 
important in this room here, and I intend to stand 
up for those rights, Congressman Thomas. 

MR. STRIPLING: Mr. Lawson, will you state your 
full name, please? 

MR. LAWSON: I wish to protest against the 
unwillingness of this committee to read a statement, 


when you permitted Mr. Warner, Mr. Mayer, and 
others to read statements in this room. 

My name is John Howard Lawson. 

It soon became very clear that the committee was 
determined to limit the unfriendly witnesses if it could 
to a yes or no answer to two questions: "Are you a member 
of the writers' guild or actors' or directors' guild or 
producers' guild?" and "Are you a member of the Communist 
party?" Now, the Nineteen had made a decision to try 
and break through any attempts of the committee to shut 
us up. And with the very first witness, it was clear 
that they intended to do so. And this was the background 
for Lawson' s very vigorous efforts to be heard. Many 
who have written about the hearings, like Eric Bentley, 
have been extremely critical of the fact that Lawson 
shouted, as indeed he did, and he had a strong voice. To me, 
this is an utterly superficial reaction. I think they 
should have cheered his refusal to be muzzled. When you 
have a situation where those friendly to the committee have 
been permitted to talk at random for as long as they wish, 
and then you find yourself unable to say anything about the 
lies that have been spouted about you, this is so manifestly 
unfair that to accept it meekly would be silly. And I 
think it's just amazing that people should have been 
critical of Lawson' s behavior. 


Now, as a matter of fact, there's every reason to 
believe that the committee knew beforehand how each member 
of the Ten would testify, because I know that I and others 
had our telephones bugged from the time we got our 
subpoenas. Things suddenly began to happen to my phone. 
I'd pick it up to dial and I would hear a click, and 
sometimes when I was waiting for something, I would hear 
some voices whispering at the other end. I believe that 
at that time the technique of bugging was not as subtle 
as it probably is now, or the people doing it were careless. 
I'm sure that our meeting room in the Shoreham was bugged, 
and I would assume that every telephone in every bedroom 
occupied by the unfriendly witnesses was bugged. Furthermore, 
I think that most, if not all, of the sessions between 
each individual and his attorney was bugged. For instance, 
when I had my private session with Ben Margolis about 
the way I would testify and we discussed it, we did so out 
in a large garden area of the hotel, of the Shoreham Hotel. 
When we sat down, a man strolled over to a bench that was 
out of hearing of where we were, and he sat down to read 
a newspaper and put a small portfolio down next to the 
bench. I didn't know at that time, nor did Ben, as we 
discovered later, that it was perfectly possible to have 
a tape recorder at that distance from where we were and 
to catch everything that we said. 


And there were incidents of finding people in telephone 
booths who were listening to a conversation being carried 
on and so on. So I do believe that the chairman was 
prepared in advance to gavel Lawson into silence. And 
Lawson had no recourse except to continue talking and to 
raise his voice above the hammering, which was very loud, 
if he was to be heard. 

Now, a very important legal maneuver came into play 

in responses given by Lawson and others. And that was 

a phrase, "It is a matter of public record." On page 292, 

for instance: 

MR. STRIPLING: Mr. Lawson, I repeat the question: 
Have you ever held any position in the Screen 
Writers Guild? 

MR. LAWSON: I have stated that the question is 
illegal. But it is a matter of public record 
that I have held many offices in the Screen 
Writers Guild. I was its first president, in 
1933, and I have held office on the board of 
directors of the Screen Writers Guild at other 
times . 

Now, our lawyers had pointed out to us that where 

things were a matter of public record, it was perfectly 

all right to state that, but it had to be prefaced by 

the fact that you were not answering the question itself. 

GARDNER: But citing the public record. 

MALTZ: You were merely citing the public record while 

saying the question is illegal. And that was attached 

to something else that was not easily understood, in fact, 


that was confusing to people, and it's best illustrated 

from Trumbo's testimony [ Hearings , p. 332]. 

MR. STRIPLING: Are you a member of the Screen 
Writers Guild? 

MR. TRUMBO: Mr. Stripling, the rights of American 
labor to inviolably secret membership lists have 
been won in this country by a great cost of blood 
and a great cost in terms of hunger. These rights 
have become an American tradition. Over the Voice 
of America we have broadcast to the entire world 
the freedom of our labor. 

THE CHAIRMAN: Are you answering the question or 
are you making another speech? 

MR. TRUMBO: Sir, I am truly answering the question. 

Now, we all of us used the phrase, "I am answering 
the question," even though we did not answer yes or no 
as the committee wanted. And the reason why was the 
following. We could have answered, "Your question is 
illegal and I just won't answer it," but we didn't do 
that because our attorneys felt that the Supreme Court 
might sustain a contempt citation if we merely said, 
"I won't answer the question." And for this reason, 
we were all individually advised to insist that we were 
being responsive to the committee, but we had to answer 
in our own way. 

Now, it turned out that the public effect of this 
position was bad. It created confusion because we couldn't 
explain to the public why we weren't answering yes or no. 
And I've already said why, as Communists, we wouldn't say no, 


and why we wouldn't say yes, because that would give the 
committee the legal right to ask us who others we knew 
who were Communists. And, on top of that, our saying 
"I have answered the question" was a very confusing 
thing. [tape recorder turned off] For instance, the 
reaction of the Committee for the First Amendment illus- 
trates this. I am now reading from Cogley in his 
Report on Blacklisting , page 7. 

The Committee decided to send a delegation 
to Washington to watch the hearings, to "see 
whether they would be fair." 

(And, incidentally, to take some of the newspaper play 

away from Parnell Thomas and the big-name Hollywood 

personalities he had summoned as "friendly" witnesses.) 

The group also decided to make coast- 
to-coast radio broadcasts at which 
stars would discuss the Constitution 
and civil liberties. 

I might say, interrupting the quote from Cogley, 

that two nationwide radio broadcasts were made by the 

Committee for the First Amendment with very prominent 

people making superb statements about the hearings. And 

it was a committee of very prominent actors, led by 

Humphrey Bogart and his wife [Lauren Bacall] , and Danny 

Kaye, and others who came to the hearings. Back to 


After the Hollywood delegation, in a blaze of 
publicity, took their places in the hearing room 


the chairman called John Howard Lawson. . . . 
His behavior on the stand came as an enor- 
mous shock to most of the Hollywood visitors. 
None of them expected him to "cooperate" but 
they were not prepared for shouting and 
unabashed insolence. A press conference 
was held that same afternoon, attended by 
dozens of newspapermen. At the conference, 
the Hollywood delegation was hopelessly 
demoralized when newsmen suggested that 
their appearance in Washington would be 
interpreted all over the country as support 
for Lawson. The next day, after two more 
unfriendly witnesses were called, the 
group left Washington. Many of them were 
utterly disappointed and angry. "We've 
been had!" they told each other. 

[tape recorder turned off] 

GARDNER: What's interesting about that, and vaguely 

contradictory, is that according to the Fund for the 

Republic report, the Hollywood people, the Committee for 

the First Amendment, and so on, went home abashed after 

the hearings of the twenty-seventh. 

MALTZ: Yes. 

GARDNER: And yet the second broadcast was November 2, 

which means that even after they had gone back to 

Hollywood abashed, according to the report, Norman Corwin 

still was able to put together a broadcast. It's just a 

strange contradiction that comes out in my research and 

yours. I don't know what the answer to that is. 

MALTZ: Maybe there isn't really a contradiction. They 

were dismayed by the conduct of Lawson and by the two 

other men, who would have been Trumbo and myself. And 


it started the decay of the committee, and yet, if the 
broadcast had been paid for, they would say, "Well, we're 
still against the committee, so let's reiterate our 
position against the committee." Actually, those broad- 
casts--! should have given a little more time to them. 
For instance, Thomas Mann said: 

I have the honor to expose myself as a hostile 
witness. I testify that I am very much interested 
in the moving-picture industry, and that, since 
my arrival in the United States nine years ago, 
I've seen a great many Hollywood films. If 
Communist propaganda had been smuggled into 
any of them, it must have been most thoroughly 
hidden. I, for one, never noticed anything 
of the sort. I testify, moreover, that to my 
mind the ignorant and superstitious persecution 
of the believers in a political and economic 
doctrine--which is, after all, the creation 
of great minds and great thinkers--I testify 
that this persecution is not only degrading 
for the persecutors themselves, but also very 
harmful to the cultural reputation of this 
country. As an American citizen of German 
birth, I finally testify that I am painfully 
familiar with certain political trends: 
spiritual intolerance, political inquisitions, 
and declining legal security, and all this 
in the name of an alleged state of emergency. 
That is how it started in Germany. What 
followed was fascism; what followed fascism 
was war. 

Marvelous, a marvelous statement. The list of people 

who were on the broadcast, just reading down: Judy Garland, 

George Kaufman, Fredric March, Gregory Peck, Bennett Cerf, 

Lucille Ball, Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, John Garfield, 

Myrna Loy, Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, and 

Archibald MacLeish and so on. I think I'll mention in 


passing--I * 11 quote MacLeish, because I want to make a 
statement. MacLeish said this: "No issue was ever 
clearer than the issue of the Thomas Committee as tossed 
into the faces of the American people. The most American 
of all American rights is the right of any man to think 
as he pleases and to say what he thinks. That right is 
protected against congressional interference by the 
American Constitution. The question before the country is, 
Can a committee of Congress go indirectly by inquisition 
into a man's beliefs, what the Constitution forbids 
Congress to do directly? And, if it can, what is left 
of the Constitution and the freedom it protects?" 

Now, that's a marvelous statement, but in the two and 
a half years that we were fighting our case after we were 
held in contempt, I don't remember that Archibald MacLeish 
ever came forward. He certainly never sent $5.00 to our 
committee, and I never heard any protest from him. And 
this, I'm afraid, was true of everyone else in his position, 
GARDNER: When you say "in his position," what do you 

MALTZ: Well, what I mean is — I'm going to come to this 
later--no leading American people in the literary field 
came out in defense of the Ten. They were all silent. 

Going back to the testimony that Lawson gave and 
others of us gave, in later years I decided personally 


that it would have been equal legally, and much more 
wise in terms of our public position, to stand on a 
platform of simply refusing to answer the question because 
it was illegal, and not to say, "But I am answering the 
question." When I discussed this with Ben Margolis, 
he pointed out accurately that we were one of the first 
cases, and that the attorneys were trying to work out the 
best way to have us both challenge the committee consti- 
tutionally and at the same time stay out of jail if that 
was possible. And that's a perfectly sound comment. 

There's a very fascinating little footnote about 
Brecht that I was told about; I didn't witness this. 
After Lawson's testimony, and after he had been held in 
contempt, the other members of the Ten came back to the 
hotel. And since Lawson had been held in contempt, no 
one was feeling very happy about that, although it had been 
generally expected, and they found Brecht all smiles. He 
had been watching on TV. And he said, "There's not going 
to be fascism in America, because nothing like this ever 
happened in Germany. If something like this had happened 
in Germany, there wouldn't have been fascism in Germany." 
What he meant was the mobilization of a group of intellectuals 
to fight in this way. 

I was the third one called--Dalton Trumbo was the 
second of our group--and it happened to be my thirty-ninth 


birthday. When I asked for the right to read a statement, 
the chairman, Parnell Thomas, asked for a copy of it, and 
he looked at it for about two minutes in silence, and to 
my absolute astonishment said, "You may read it." I feel 
quite sure that the reason he permitted it was a decision 
during lunchtime by the committee that they were having so 
much newspaper criticism about the manifest unfairness of 
not allowing any of us to read statements that they'd come 
to this decision, and I was the next one up. After me, 
they allowed Alvah Bessie to read a portion of his statement, 
not all of it, and then they didn't allow any of the others 
to read theirs. And my statement is in The Citizen Writer , 
a pamphlet of speeches I published, and I can just give 
that to you as an adjunct-- 

MALTZ: --to [the interview], I guess.* Later in my 
testimony I handled myself awkwardly, I believe, because 
in a private conversation with Margolis in our legal 
session, he had urged me not to pause too long to answer 
questions, because radio listeners would be waiting, and 
it wouldn't sound right if I took too much time. Whatever 
the effect of the advice on others, it was not good for 
me, because it made me too tense in the desire to answer 
immediately, and I don't believe I answered well. As I 

* See supporting documents. 


was taken off the stand, I said something which has been 
referred to since by one or another writer, and the wonder 
has been done as to whether or not this was accident on my 
part, an accidental slip of the tongue, or whether it was 
purposeful. It was, indeed, purposeful. At the end, 
Stripling said, "I repeat the question. Are you now or 
have you ever been a member of the Communist party?" And 
I answered, "I have answered the question, Mr. Quisling. 
I am sorry. I want you to know--" Now, that was deliberate. 
I felt that Stripling was a quisling. And there was a 
very interesting aftermath some years later. It turned out 
that, around the time Edward G. Robinson was called to the 
stand, which would have been in 1952 or 1953, at that time, 
or a little later, he loaned Stripling $10,000 and Stripling 
never paid the money back. And when this was discovered, 
Stripling was fired from the committee. Now, unfortunately 
I lost a scrapbook on transferring from Mexico up here, and 
so I can't cite the newspaper date, but I know that I had 
it and clipped it, and that Stripling was fired. 

The last of the Nineteen to be called was Ring Lardner, 
and that made ten of us. Although Bertolt Brecht testified 
after Lardner, as a foreigner he didn't combat the committee, 
and he was not held in contempt. 

GARDNER: Why were the others not called? Or were you--? 
MALTZ : At this point, even though the chairman had promised 


important revelations about espionage, the hearings were 
abruptly called off, and there seems no doubt that it was 
because of the bad press that the committee had been getting. 
The testimony of Dore Schary before that of Lardner was of 
great importance, because he was the head of production of 
RKO. And he insisted that he would not refuse to hire 
anyone because of his politics; he would only fire someone 
if it was proven that he was a foreign agent, dedicated 
to the overthrow of the government by force and violence. 
And we will come to that a little later. 

There was a final statement by Parnell Thomas in 
which he said that the committee had a special staff studying 
Communist propaganda in motion pictures. The committee, 
he said--that is, the whole committee--would resume hearings 
on that matter in the near future. And it not only did 
not resume hearings in the near future, but it never took 
up the topic, and the special staff never made a public 
report on Communist propaganda in motion pictures. And 
that, too, is something which I didn't see the press 
pointing out. He asserted that the adjournment was only 
temporary, and that hearings would be resumed as soon as 
possible. In fact, there were no further hearings in the 
film industry for two and a half years, not until the 
Hollywood Ten lost its case and then went to jail. 


It's at this point very relevant to state that all 
during these hearings, this patriotic chairman of this 
patriotic committee was committing a felony. He had forced 
his secretary into giving him kickbacks on her salary, and 
when this was exposed by a newspaper columnist and he was 
brought to trial, he pleaded nolo contendere and went to 
jail before we did. 

Directly after the hearings were over, I was asked 
if I would go on a short speaking tour with Henry Wallace, 
who was then a very, very controversial public figure 
because he had left the Truman administration and was 
campaigning against Truman's foreign policy. And I joined 
his group in Pittsburgh and participated in one-night 
public meetings there and in Cincinnati and in Cleveland, 
and then I left and went home. One of the men with 
Wallace on that speaking tour was Canada Lee, an actor, 
and I'll pause to tell a small story about him. 

He had been a very successful professional boxer who 
almost became champion at his weight class--just missed 
out. And then turned actor, and, to my best recollection, 
the first job he had was in the very important role in the 
Theatre Union play Stevedore , which he took over when 
Rex Ingram left for, I think the role of God in All God's 
Children . And Canada Lee did the role very well. He had 
natural aptitude as an actor and went on to a successful 


acting career. I remember we had long talks in spare 
time during that three-day tour, and I must have met him 
again around 1950, because at that time a-- No, it must 
have been later than 1950. No it couldn't have been later 
than 1950, because I was out of the country. About 1950-- 
and he was then blacklisted also. And at that time, I 
think, Cry, the Beloved Country was playing in a theater 
on Broadway, and he had the lead in it. And he told me 
that he had wanted to sit out in front of the theater with 
a shoeshine kit and shine shoes right in front of this 
theater of which he was the featured player, because of the 
fact that he was blacklisted, and he wanted to dramatize 
it that way, but that he had been persuaded, I guess by 
lawyers or friends, or so, not to do it, and he regretted 
not having done it. Canada Lee died at an early age from 
hypertension and a heart attack, I think, and one can 
guess that being blacklisted might have contributed to his 

This tour with Henry Wallace was the beginning, for 
me, of two and a half years of a great deal of public 
speaking. I think I made more speeches than most of the 
Ten, because some had no ability in public speaking. I 
know that a week or so after I got home, or only a few days, 
there was a meeting in Gilmore Stadium at which I spoke 
along with the others of the Ten, and that was a meeting 


to raise money for us as well as to reach the public. And 
then, with Karen Morley, an actress, I immediately went 
up to Santa Rosa for a convention of the California CIO 
[Congress of Industrial Organizations]. I recall that in 
the talk I gave, I brought up the issue of blacklisting 
and connected it with the fact that blacklisting had existed 
in industry, so far as trade unions were concerned, ever 
since the year 1811, when Philadelphia shoemakers had tried 
to stop the first trade union, and that this was surely 
going to turn into a committee attack upon unionization as 
well. I remember that Slim Connelly, who was the secretary, 
I believe, of the CIO of California, told us that it had 
been a dead convention before we came, and he was so happy 
that we had been there. 

The citations of contempt that were voted by the 
committee had to be approved by the House of Representatives, 
and this occurred on November 24, 1947. Although I had been 
the third one to be called to the stand in Washington, I was 
the first one brought up to be cited for contempt, and 
I assume that the reason was because the man who presented 
me for a contempt citation to the House was McDowell of 
Pennsylvania, and he gave a paragraph to the "Maltz 
controversy" to show what a disciplined Communist I was. 
And beside referring to that, he had the following to say. 
I'm reading from the Congressional Record, Monday, 
November 24, 1947, volume 93, number 151. He said: 


Maltz is by no means a minor figure in Hollywood 
or in the Communist party. Maltz is a brilliant, 
colorful writer. Maltz, believe it or not, is 
way above the $100,000 a year income bracket. 

I pause in reading from him to say that, regrettably, I had 

never attained $100,000 a year. [laughter] Going back to 

McDowell : 

The citation of Albert Maltz was called here first 
because this man was the most arrogant, most 
contemptible, the most bitter of all of these 
people who do not believe in their own country. 
Here is a typical Communist intellectual, burning 
with a bitter hatred of the country he was born 
in, its government, its officials, and its 
people. Here is a man whose gifted pen has 
for years dripped with a scorn and hatred of 
the Congress of the United States, who refused 
to answer the direct and simple question this 
Committee has put to him. When Albert Maltz 
was asked again if he was a Communist by Robert 
Stripling, he replied, "I have answered that 
question, Mr. Quisling, I'm sorry." And there, 
the examination of Albert Maltz abruptly ended 
as I objected to this, and the Committee sustained 
the objection. This Maltz addressed Robert 
Stripling as Mr. Quisling, a worldwide synonym 
for traitor. Bob Stripling, who has stood for 
years against the things that Albert Maltz is 
trying to turn our nation into, who served 
honorably and with distinction in the armed 
forces of this republic. 

The vote citing me for contempt was 346 yeas, 17 nays, 
answered present 1, not voting 68. [telephone rings- 
tape recorder turned off] 

The meeting of the motion picture executives and the 
bankers who control the studios, at the Waldorf Astoria 
Hotel in New York, convened on the twenty-fourth of November, the 
same day as the citations for contempt. I don't believe 


that this was an accident: I think they must have known 

that the citations were coming, they knew when they were 

scheduled to be brought up in Congress, and therefore they 

set their date to be at the same time. And on the twenty-sixth 

the meeting executives issued its blacklist statement, which 

is well known. I think there is no doubt but that the 

producers as a whole, with a few exceptions, did not want 

to have any blacklisting in the studios, because they wanted 

to use the men whom they blacklisted. And because, I 

think, most retained the attitude that it was not fair to 

interfere with a person's employment because of his politics 

or his thinking. However, the ones calling the tune were 

the New York bankers, and the executives and producers 

had to decide whether they wanted to continue in their jobs, 

and as Dore Schary later said, with complete candor, "I 

wanted to keep making films." Because the statement firing 

us was a reversal of everything Eric Johnston had sworn 

he would never do, and it was a reversal of what Schary 

had said, and what others had said, and they just quite 

coolly reversed themselves. 

GARDNER: By New York bankers, you mean those who 

financed the films? 

MALTZ : Yes, I mean those who financed the films and who 

had the real financial control of the studios. 

GARDNER: Beyond the Jack Warners, and the — 


MALTZ : Yes. Warner-- If the bankers, from whom Warner 
Brothers might be getting a $50 million loan a year to 
finance a new product, didn't want to give the loan, Warner 
would be out. The fact that the studio had his name made 
no difference. Fox was forced out of Fox many years ago. 
And so they issued this blacklist statement. 

Carey McWilliams, in his book Witch Hunt , wrote: 
"Ten writers were . . . blacklisted in the motion picture 
industry as a result of direct pressure applied by a 
congressional committee. If the Committee had subpoenaed 
ten editorial writers from ten newspapers . . . and then 
told their employers to fire them, it could not have been 
any clearer that the intention was censorial." 

Now, this decision that was made at the Waldorf was 
more important by far to us in the Ten , and subsequently 
to some 240 or 250 others in the film industry, and, as 
a matter of fact, to thousands in the country, than just 
the contempt citation. Because, without the Waldorf 
statement, we, when we lost our case, could have gone to 
jail, served our time, and come back to work in the 
industry. And then, blacklisting would not have been 
carried out for others in the film industry and it would 
not have spread to all areas in American life. So that 
it was of enormous and maligned importance for the future. 
As evidence of that, two individuals who had not been 


involved in the hearings were immediately blacklisted: 
one was Gale Sondergaard, wife of Herbert Biberman, and 
the other was Frances Lardner , a less well-known actress, 
wife of Ring Lardner. 

The blacklist, not the contempt citations, was a 
tremendous shock to each one of us personally in the Ten. 
Financial problems faced everyone. 

GARDNER: Hadn't you expected it, though? Had you really 
believed Eric Johnston? 

MALTZ : Yes, we had believed Eric Johnston; all of us had. 
We knew what the committee was trying to do. But when 
Eric Johnston, who was head of the motion picture producers, 
said, "I promise you that as long as I live there will 
never be a blacklist," yes, we believed them. Now, it is 
true that right after we came back from the hearings, the 
five men under contract to the studios--they were Trumbo, 
Cole, Lardner, Dmytryk, and Scott— were fired by the 
studios, summarily. And that was a bad omen. But it still 
didn't mean that there was any policy which said that 
"You ten men will not be hired again." So that when that 
statement came out, saying we would not be hired, I 
remember that it was a distinct shock to me. So obviously 
I had not been prepared, and I don't think the others were 
prepared for that. I know that the Lardners, for instance, 
immediately put up for sale a house that they had just 
bought shortly before the hearings began. 


I think I was in better financial condition than most 
of the Ten because my home and my way of life was more 
modest. There were two men, Ornitz and Bessie, who lived 
more modestly still, but they didn't have the savings that 
I did, because they hadn't been working. And Trumbo, who 
had made the most money of anyone, was land poor. I think 
I might pause for a moment to say that Trumbo, who had 
enormous qualities as a man in terms of talent, in terms 
of a most engaging personality, a brilliantly sharp mind 
and an offbeat, marvelous wit, was a man who had one fatal 
flaw, from my point of view, which interfered with the 
exercise of his talent: he loved to live on a very grand 
style. At one point I remember being in his home, before 
the hearings; I didn't know him well, but I was in his home 
on this occasion for some reason, I don't know. And it 
was a very large house on Beverly Drive, a house constructed 
like a southern mansion of pre-Civil War days. And in his 
study, on a kind of ."large board such as draftsmen use, 
he had the outline of the characters for what would have 
been a very large novel, or a series of novels. And this, 
like others of his books that he mentioned in one way or 
another, was never written, because the money was always 
going into real estate. Some years before the hearings 
came, he bought a ranch somewhere near the Cajon Pass, in 
a remote area where he had to build a road to get to the 


plot of land, and I don't know how many tens of thousands 
of dollars he had sunk into this whole enterprise. And 
so, right after the hearings were over, Trumbo had to rush 
back to that ranch in order to try and turn out film 
stories that he could sell to keep up with his enormous 
obligations. I might mention that my wife and I let the 
houseworker go whom we had had previously to help with our 
two youngsters, and we invested in a dishwasher as a way 
of making household chores easier. One other consequence, 
immediately, of the hearings, was the breakup of Adrian's 
marriage--Adrian Scott. He had been married to some 
actress whose name I forget, and the marriage ended. 

One problem that all of us with young children faced 
was the task of how to explain to them why we were in the 
trouble we were in, why we were being written about in the 
newspapers and talked about on the radio, and this was not 
easy at all. At the time of the hearings, my son was 
almost ten. 


DECEMBER 8, 19 7 8 

GARDNER: We'll continue with the trials. 

MALTZ : Yes, I was talking about the effect of the blacklist 
on individuals and spoke of the problem of those among us 
who had young children, and that was not a few. At the time 
of the hearings my son was almost ten (that's '47) , my 
daughter was five. And it's extremely difficult to explain 
to children, especially the ten-year-old, what is going 
on because the ten-year-old can read the newspapers and 
he can listen to the radio (thank goodness there was no 
TV at that time in our house or around the neighborhood) , 
and he will hear his father being called all sorts of names. 
And we found it, at the least, extremely difficult to 
explain why I was getting all of the attention I was, and 
often with such malice. In the case of one of us, 
Adrian Scott, the events in Washington caused the breakup 
of his marriage. He was married to some actress; I forget 
her name. 

Not too long after we came back, however, the discovery 
was made that it was still possible for members of the Ten 
to write and sell original stories under pseudonyms, or 
with some practicing screenwriter putting his name on the 
manuscript. I know that Lester Cole and Dalton Trumbo did 
this through a very important agent who was himself going 


to be blacklisted several years later, and that was 

George Willner, who was a very old friend of mine. 

(I had known Willner in Long Island City when he was at 

that time a business manager of the New Masses . He 

subsequently left that work and became an agent in Hollywood) . 

However, this is not to be accepted as a picture of the 

blacklist situation as it was after 1951; then it became 

very different and I will describe it in due course. This 

was an interim period in which the studios, studio heads, 

I'm quite sure, did not believe that we were going to go 

to jail and had no anticipation of the stern blacklist 

that would occur in the future. 

GARDNER: Nor the pressure that would come upon them in 

the next five years. 

MALTZ : That's right. Very important. Nor the pressures 

that would come upon them. And so there was a laxness 

to it. 

At the beginning of December Mark Hellinger called 
me and asked me if I would work on a film story, and I was 
happy to take it because now the situation was changed 
for me, of course, and I knew I was going to need to try 
and earn some money. He brushed off the events in Washington. 
He just didn't care about them at all, and we set to work. 
There was some piece of original material with a story line 
that was quite interesting. I remember that the title of it 


was An Act o f Violence , and I believe that a poor film 
was made of it five or six or seven years later. And I 
worked on it for only a week. During that week Hellinger 
made a quick trip to Sun Valley in order to see Hemingway, 
who was there skiing. Hellinger had option on all of 
Hemingway's short stories for films. He had made one, 
The Killers , and he wanted to talk with Hemingway about 
something or other. As he described it to me when he 
returned, it was a grueling trip because he had to change 
planes several times and finally fly into Sun Valley in 
a one-motored plane. He caught cold, and Hemingway was 
off skiing most of the day, and Hellinger sat at the hotel, 
coughing. When Hellinger came back and I met him at night 
at his home, he wanted to hear what I had come up with 
after working on it for four or five days. I began to 
tell him but he would interrupt me with paroxyms of 
coughing that were so severe that I begged him to just 
go to bed, and we'd meet when he felt better. But he 
kept saying, "No, no, don't mind this. This is doing 
me good. This is better than medicine"--meaning that 
he liked what I was telling him. And so I told him what 
I had in my notes, and we agreed to meet on Saturday, 
which was, I guess, two days off. But I was to call him 
first and when I called him, he came to the phone and 
said that he really didn't feel well enough to meet with me, 


and we set it up for Monday, I believe. That night he 
apparently felt better and went down to a projection room 
where he had to see a film, and he died of a second heart 
attack. I don't know if I mentioned in this earlier about 
his having had a heart attack while Naked City was shooting. 
Did I? 

GARDNER: I don't think you did, no. 

MALTZ: Well, this is perhaps an interesting thing to comment 
on. In the summer of '47 this . . . well, it was not many 
months before this, during the shooting of Naked City in 
New York, Hellinger had had a heart attack. The doctors 
wanted him to stay in bed a given number of weeks, but he 
felt better after several weeks, and he just left the 
hospital. Feeling better after a heart attack is a frequent 
phenomenon, and Hellinger, more than most, had a magical 
feeling that he was just the same as he had always been; 
it's as though he hadn't really experienced anything that 
was damaging. I saw the same thing with Martin Rackin, with 
whom I had worked in the late sixties and seventies. And 
Hellinger came back to New York in a plane, although he 
was advised not to do so--that was before the time of 
pressurized planes--came back to Los Angeles, I mean, in 
a plane, and he went right to work. He called me very soon 
after to see a version of Naked City , to see Naked City 
in a projection room. The projection room was on the second 


story and the stairs leading up was quite long. When we 
were halfway up, he had to pause to recover his breath. 
Now, he hadn't told me that he'd had a heart attack, but 
I could see that something was wrong, and I asked him why 
he didn't order a projection room on the first floor. He 
said, oh, no, he didn't want to say anything like that 
because then word might get around that he was not physically 
fit. And this was just a temporary little thing, and he 
was talking a big deal with David Selznick, and he didn't 
want any word to get out that he was not well. I thought 
nothing more about it. And so here was this man who knew 
he had had a heart attack and should have known that severe 
coughing is a strain for a heart, and yet he just went on 
ignoring what had happened to him and died at forty-four. 

I was reminded of the fact that only, I think, the 
year before, in 1946, when I was in Catalina I had been 
asked to teach chess to a man I didn't know, a film producer 
who had done a lot of Tarzan films. I don't think of his 
name at the moment, although I should know it [Sol Lesser]. 
Because his physician had said that in the long recuperative 
period that he needed from his massive heart attack it would 
be good for him if he could have an interesting game like 
chess. And he was on Catalina in an area that required me 
to take a motorboat and go there, and I did, and taught 
him the game. And he's still alive in his eighties as I 
talk now. And Mark Hellinger died at his young age. 


Another man who was somewhat similar in his belief 
in magic about his own physical state was Oscar Lewis, who 
was a friend of mine. Oscar was the anthropologist. 
GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ: And he also died in his middle fifties by working 
under pressures that were too big for him. So that's 
that point. Oh, there is an item that should have been 
mentioned earlier in the year 1947, because there will be 
more about it later. Even though I was-- Oh, no, Edward 
Robinson-- No, this was before the case, Edward G. Robinson, 
whom I had met in the course of my one week of work on 
The Red House , got in touch with me and asked me to write 
a speech for a meeting that he was going to be at which 
was organized by the Hearst press each year and was called 
I Am an American Day, and it took place in Soldiers Field 
in Chicago, which always attracted 100,000 people. And 
I didn't know that I was just the newest one in a long 
string of writers that Robinson had gone to to have people 
write speeches for him. However, he was a man who had 
ideas of his own and he told them to me, and they were very 
good ones. He just needed somebody to put it into words 
and I was perfectly happy to do it for him. There will be 
rather a payoff on it when I come to his testimony before 
the committee. 


As soon as the Ten, who had been held in contempt, had 
returned from Washington, there was the need to organize 
ourselves into a group that would be active in our own 
defense. We were facing the trials for criminal contempt 
of Congress, and there would be the costs of the trials 
which were enormous because, in order to properly handle them, 
in order to make a proper appeal, we had to buy the daily 
transcripts of the court reporter, and those would be very 
expensive. And even though our attorneys would work for 
nothing, the sums involved would be very large. So raising 
funds became an imperative duty, and we were no longer 
in a position of being able to assess ourselves for money. 

We also, on the strong advice of our attorneys, set 
about to launch a public campaign for support because the 
Supreme Court always has shown itself to be responsive 
to public opinion. If we want to put it this way: if, 
on a given day in the United States, 50 million people 
walked all over the cities and towns in the United States 
saying "Free the Hollywood Ten," or "Don't let them go to 
prison," they would have an effect on the Supreme Court. 
And while the lawyers would take care of the legal cases, 
we had to organize the public campaign. 

It came to our hiring an office at the Crossroads of the 
World in Hollywood, and recruiting volunteer helpers and, 
I think, probably one paid secretary, who might have been 


(I'm not sure whether she was paid or volunteer) Pauline 

Lauber Finn, a friend of many of us who had been formerly 

secretary of the Writers Mobilization during the war. 

Very, very interestingly, a young girl, extremely attractive 

and sweet-natured, by the name of Lori Niblo volunteered 

to help us, and this was of great interest because her 

brother Fred Niblo was one of the writers who was a member 

of the committee opposed to us, the Motion Picture Committee 

for the Preservation of American Ideals.* 

GARDNER: Did the others of the original Unfriendly Nineteen 

participate at all in this? 

MALTZ: I'm going to mention that. That's a very relevant 

question. One very important project that was launched 

was the writing of a book that became Hollywood on Trial , 

by Gordon Kahn. Gordon was a former New York newspaperman 

who had worked, I think, in the Daily Mirror , and he was 

very well fitted to write a book rapidly as well as accurately 

He was a very small man, probably no more than about five 

feet three, and an extremely witty man, and the only man 

I've ever known who wore a monocle. I think that we 

probably got some contributions to start our organization 

off from Robert Rossen and Larry Parks and a few others of 

the Nineteen. But I know that we saw very little of Milestone 

or Irving Pichel or others later. Some money was raised 

*Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of 
American Ideals 


at a meeting we had had in mid-November at Gilmore Stadium, 
which was a much larger place than we could fill at that 
time. I remember that we planned a fund-raising dinner, 
which we held before the end of the year, where we raised 
a good sum of money and where we began to see a sign of the 
times. Because John Huston, who had been very active in 
the Committee for the First Amendment, agreed to be the 
chairman of the dinner, but he was a very soft chairman 
indeed, and there was no militancy at all in his attitude, 
and it was not long before he drifted away from any activity 
involved with us. I remember that we also planned a New Year's 
Eve party to raise money at the home, I think, of Larry Parks. 
Larry Parks at that time was very, very militant about 
the committee, and the change that occurred later is well 
known. The dynamo who made our committee work at the pace 
it did for the next two and a half years was Herbert Biberman, 
and I want to pause to give a bit of a sketch of him. 

Herbert was a man about six feet one or two, broad- 
shouldered, lean and muscular. At that time, I think, let 
me see, in '47. . . . Just shut it off for a moment please, 
[tape recorder turned off] A man of forty-five, he had 
been a director with the Theatre Guild in New York and had 
done some outstanding work. I think we spoke of this. 
GARDNER: Briefly. 
MALTZ : Yes, yes. And at the memorial meeting for him in 


1971, different individuals said things about him which 
add up to a very accurate description. Stephen Fritchman, 
the Unitarian minister, said this: "People responded to 
Herbert, to his contagious enthusiasm for a common cause. 
He was endowed with an Old Testament righteous indignation. 
He had exuberant rhetoric and adrenaline. His very presence 
was impressive and could be formidable. He was ardent 
and earnest, a crusader in a hurry, and he brooked resistance 
reluctantly." Alvah Bessie spoke of his fanatical devotion. 
Adrian Scott recounted speaking in eastern colleges before 
hostile audiences and saying to Herbert before he went that 
he didn't know how to speak before audiences and never 
had spoken. And Herbert said, "You can speak, you'll go." 
And Adrian said, "I went." Lester Cole said Herbert managed 
to get many people to do things they would not otherwise do. 
And Trumbo said, "The man had style." And perhaps Trumbo 
was referring in part to the fact that Herbert was always 
impeccably dressed, and on his frame clothes looked magnif- 
icent. He always had a handkerchief in his jacket pocket 
and, for many years, a fresh flower in his lapel. He wore 
at least one very large ring on his large and powerful hands, 
and he unabashedly used perfumed toilet water many years 
before it became the habit for men to do that. And Mike 
Wilson spoke of his courage and fortitude and the capacity 
to endure and to achieve brotherhood in spite of opposition. 


And this sums up the various sides of Herbert. For two 
and a half years he did absolutely nothing except act as the 
motor wheel and dynamo for the activities of the Hollywood 
Ten. And it was in every respect due to him that we carried 
on as active a national campaign as we did. You want to. . . 
[tape recorder turned off] 

Immediately after the hearings had ended, we put--the 
Unfriendly Nineteen put an advertisement in Variety which 
was headed by the following box: "Man Wanted for Motion 
Pictures. Must be willing to take dictation, must pass 
Americanism, religious, political and racial examinations. 
Apply Mr. Thomas, Washington, D.C." And then we had some 
text to follow it for a full page. 
GARDNER: What was the date of that? 

MALTZ: That was October 31, 1947, in Variety . I don't have 
a date for this next advertisement. It was in Variety , and 
it was declared a reprint of an advertisement appearing that 
day in the Washington Post . It was addressed to the members 
of the House of Representatives of the Congress with an 
earnest request that the Congress consider certain facts 
which I won't repeat here. But it was the attempt to 
influence the members of Congress not to vote contempt 
citations . 

On the twenty-sixth of November, Howard Koch put an 
advertisement into the trade papers--this one was from 


Variety—which was just excellent. He said: "I am not 
and have never been a member of the Communist party. In 
making this statement, which I do under oath, I reserve the 
right to refuse to make it if I so choose at any future 
hearing of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. 
In my opinion the refusal of the ten men to answer this 
question on the stand was consistent with their deepest 
convictions that their silence was more eloquent than all 
the words spoken." He then went on to condemn the 
Un-American Activities Committee and to try and enlist 
the support of others for his position. It was a remarkably 
fine statement. [tape recorder turned off] 

Early in December a meeting of the Screen Writers 
Guild occurred in which there was a great deal of drama. 
The Producers Association had asked the Writers Guild to 
permit a committee from the producers to address them 
about the events that had occurred, and the board of the 
Writers Guild agreed. It was stated at the meeting that 
no Guild member would be permitted to make any comments 
while this committee from the producers was in the hall. 
The committee consisted of Walter Wanger, who had been a 
very liberal member of the community and, indeed, had been 
the producer of the film Blockade about Spain; and two 
MGM executives, Edward Mannix and James K. McGuinness; and 
Dore Schary. And it was Dore Schary who was chosen to be 


the spokesman for the group. Schary, who had said on the 
witness stand that he would not fire anyone for his political 
associations, but who had remained within the ranks of the 
producers when the Hotel Waldorf statement had been issued, 
now said, in effect, to the assembled screenwriters: Give 
us these ten men. Don't do anything about the fact that 
they have been blacklisted and we promise you that there 
will be no more blacklisting in the film industry. That 
was the sum and substance of what went on. 

Just the other night a friend of mine, a former 
screenwriter, Val Burton, described something that I had 
forgotten. He said that when ... as the committee then 
left the hall on the way out, James McGuinness, who had 
produced Trumbo's film Thirty Seconds over Tokyo , sort 
of tried to half embrace Trumbo as he passed him on the 
aisle, and Val said that Trumbo looked as though he was 
hard put to restrain from hitting him, hitting McGuinness 
When they left the room, Trumbo jumped up and asked for the 
floor and was given it. And he spoke with tremendous 
passion, in great cutting fashion, about this request, 
starting with the fact that on a certain night at two in 
the morning he had been called by Walter Wanger and asked 
if he would fly to San Francisco and write the speech that 

[Edward Reilly] Stettinius used in opening the first meeting 
of the United Nations. The Guild did not at that . . . 

[phone rings] Excuse me. [tape recorder turned off] 


The members of the Guild did not take the position that 
the producers wanted at that time, although they would take 
it within several years. They voted to reject the request 
of the producers and voted to launch a legal suit against 
the producers for the firings and the blacklist. Thurman 
Arnold, who had been, I think, a former [assistant] attorney 
general, was engaged to represent the Guild in this case. 
The Guild itself did not-- I don't know whether the Guild 
voted any Guild funds for the case; I do know that there 
was an appeal to the members for contributions on it and 
that I contributed $500 to it. Whatever happened to that 
$500 I don't know--but nothing good. 

This was a period in which we began to feel the 
pressures of political reaction. At random, certain examples 
come to my mind: for instance, a kind of rogues' gallery 
of our faces appeared in the whole Hearst press in which 
it was very easy to see how the photographs had been touched 
up so that we looked like a row of gangsters. It was the 
beginning of a steady stream of slander on the part of 
columnists like Westbrook Pegler, George Sokolsky, Hedda Hopper, 
Louella Parsons, Fulton Lewis, and others. I know I got 
letters from crazy schizophrenics and some poison-pen 
letters and several death threats by phone. Phone tapping, 
of course I mentioned before, occurred always. 
GARDNER: Did you have any significant support in the press 
of columnists of any kind? 


MALTZ : No. There were in the press attacks, sometimes, 
or criticisms of the Un-American Activities Committee. 
There was that; but I don't recall any support of our 
position except in the Left press, and there was support 
in, let's say, in the Nation . And there was certainly 
support in the press that was the Communist press. There 
were all sorts of little incidents. I remember one morning 
I paused at a liquor store on my way to my office (the office 
I then had where I worked) , and as I turned around to go 
out of the store, a woman and a man came up to me, and a 
flash light-bulb suddenly exploded in my face, and then 
they ran off and got into a car. This was probably just 
some independent photographer who had connected with me in 
some way, and she was going to try and sell a picture. 
Stupid irritations like that. 

At the same time, there was another type of public 
reaction which was very good and very warming. For instance, 
a watchmaker who, when my wife gave her name, asked if she 
was my wife and then wouldn't take any money to repair my 
watch; a stewardess on a plane who paused just to whisper 
to me that she was all for the position we had taken, and 
other manifestations like that. 

On December 11, there were preliminary-- I think I must 
have mentioned that we were indicted by a grand jury, but 
if I haven't, we were [indicted] within a short time after the 


citations by Congress. And we were booked, we had 
preliminary bookings downtown in Los Angeles, with the 
usual press photographs. There were photographs for just 
about anything. And so it amounted to being fingerprinted, 
pleading, and there was a $1,000 bail assessment for each 
of us, and Herbert Biberman put up $10,000 so that we 
wouldn't have to pay any bail bond money. 

My income from writing in 1947 was $43,000, and it 
came from The Cross and Arrow royalties and what I had 
earned from Naked City and from the story "Evening in 
Modesto" that I had sold. 

The first event in 1948 was that we had to go to 
Washington D.C. for the actual arraignment. Our lawyers, 
of course, had requested that we be formally arraigned 
in Los Angeles, but the government insisted that it had 
to be at the scene of the crime. And it was very clearly 
the government's desire to drain us of money. We had to 
cross the country for a one-hour arraignment in court 
and come back again. But that was costly. And the 
government also wanted to hold the trial in a city that 
it controlled much more than it did in L.A., and so we 
had to go. I went by train, with Adrian Scott on the 
train with me, and I hired a small bedroom, I guess it's 
called, and I set to work immediately on McKeever , which 
I think I had stopped with about ninety-three pages in hand, 


In Washington we appeared before a judge, and each one of 
us pleaded not guilty. We were then taken downstairs in 
an elevator to a booking room. It was in this room that 
we would descend in two and a half years on our way to jail. 
We were fingerprinted and photographed, and I'm quite sure 
that I had mixed feelings of apprehension on the one hand, 
and a measure of pride on the other. And, since it came to 
my mind the other day in preparing these notes , I expect that 
at that time I remembered reading in Gorky, some autobio- 
graphical material of Gorky's, that he felt an immense 
pride when he was first arrested in czarist Russia because 
he had then officially joined those on the honor role of 
being opposed to czarism. Well, I was not living in czarist 
Russia, and I didn't feel the same way about it, but there 
was a certain measure of pride in the situation. 

Naked City opened in January to very fine reviews and 
to smashing business. Alas, Hellinger was not there to 
witness it, and that was very unhappy. I was very glad 
about its commercial success because Hellinger had told me 
after I finished the script that he was going to give me 
5 percent of his profits. This was not a contractual matter 
between us, but it was something that he said he always 
wanted to do with people with whom he worked. I know that 
Jules Dassin got a percentage, and I don't know about 
Wald, but I presume he might have also. And this proved to be 


important to me in the years of the blacklist. Naked City 
broke all box office records in the twenty-eight-year 
history of the Capitol Theatre in New York. And members 
of the League of Women Shoppers distributed petitions in 
front of the Capitol Theatre which were addressed to 
Louis B. Mayer, chairman of the Producers Steering Committee. 
The leaflet said Naked City was written by Albert Maltz 
in collaboration with Malvin Wald; Maltz, one of the 
Hollywood Ten, is blacklisted by the motion picture 
industry; and Maltz and nine other men cannot earn a living, 
they cannot work on another picture unless you, the audience, 
demand that the producers end the blacklist. And it said, 
"Fold this leaflet here and mail," and attached to it was 
something already addressed to Louis B. Mayer. Well, this 
was prepared in the office of the Hollywood Ten, and it 
was an example of the type of campaign that we waged 
throughout the two and a half years; we sought any opportunity 
we could to advance our case. 

The political scene at this time was the following. 
The hysteria that had started at the top level of government 
with Truman's loyalty oath order in March '47 had spread 
in the course of the year. Truman himself had extended 
the oath to cover employees of industries filling military 
contracts — some millions of individuals — and of those 
millions, not quite 500 resigned rather than sign the oath. 


But only a few hundred were ever fired even though among 
the questions used to test loyalty was whether an individual 
had ever listened to the music of Hanns Eisler or read a 
novel by Howard Fast. The rise to prominence and power 
of informers became the fashion of the day even though 
they invariably seemed to be afflicted with pasts that 
couldn't bear examination, or problems like alcoholism, or 
the inability to give testimony that wasn't easily disproven 
as perjury. School and town libraries began to remove books 
like Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath , Fast's Citizen Tom Paine , 
and Lillian Smith's Strange Fruit , and magazines like the 
Nation. Bertrand Russell proposed that the Russians should 
be threatened with atomic annihilation if they continued 
to reject America's bomb control plan. Norman Thomas, a 
longtime Socialist party leader, expressed the belief that 
civilization depended on obliterating the Soviet Union. 
Columnist after columnist and public figure after public 
figure spoke as though there had to be a war with the Soviet 
Union, or that if the Soviet Union ever got the atom bomb, 
the United States would be finished. Samuel Grafton, the 
columnist on the New York Post , and an old friend of mine, 
wrote that the nerves of the American people were being 
rubbed raw. There were voices against this: Henry Wallace, 
Alexander Meiklejohn (former president of the [University of] 
Wisconsin), [University of] Chicago's president Robert M. 
Hutchins, Henry Steele. . . . [phone rings — tape recorder 

turned off] 


DECEMBER 8, 19 7 8 

GARDNER: You left off as you were describing . . . 
MALTZ: Yes. 

GARDNER: . . . your support. 

MALTZ: Yes, Henry Steele Coramager of Columbia University, 
Zechariah Chafee (a constitutional expert) of Harvard, and 
Supreme Court justices Douglas and Black. But it was 
extremely interesting that leading literary figures like 
Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Erskine Caldwell, Eugene 
O'Neill, Norman Mailer, and others of that status were 
silent. However, the forces of the Left and liberal 
progressive forces were full of fight. On Labor Day, 1948, 
there was a fight-back meeting in Gilmore Stadium in 
Los Angeles at which Henry Wallace spoke. Wallace, to 
paraphrase a footnote on page 78 of The American Inquisition 
by Belfrage, Wallace had been barred from the Hollywood 
Bowl and the University of California campus. He spoke to 
an overflow audience of 30,000 in Gilmore Stadium. Among 
his active sponsors at the time, or accompanying speakers, 
or financial contributors at the meeting, were Katharine 
Hepburn, Jose Ferrer, Paul Draper, Zero Mostel, Lillian 
Hellman, Canada Lee, Uta Hagen, Paul Robeson, Charles Chaplin, 
Edward G. Robinson, Dorothy Parker, John Garfield, Hedy 
LaMarr, Frank Tuttle, Budd Schulberg, and Paul Henreid. 


Linus Pauling, Nobel laureate scientist, was a speaker and 
California's ex-attorney general, Robert W. Kenny, chaired 
the meeting. I have mentioned these names in order to give 
an additional comment. First, I wrote Kenny's speech. Of 
the other names I've just read, the following happened after 
the Ten went to jail: Ferrer, Frank Tuttle and Budd Schulberg 
became informers; Paul Draper, Zero Mostel, Lillian Hellman, 
Canada Lee, Paul Robeson and Dorothy Parker were blacklisted; 
Canada Lee died. 

In 1948 Wallace became a candidate for president on a 
third-party ticket, the Progressive party. The media treated 
him not as a former vice-president but as an agent of 
Stalin. For documentation of this I would recommend a 
book The Press and the Cold War by James Aronson, published 
by Bobbs-Merrill in 1970. Norman Thomas labeled Wallace 
"a Communist captive, preaching peace by blind appeasement." 
This and infinitely more comprised the atmosphere in which 
we in the Hollywood Ten prepared for our trials. 

The Hollywood Ten received support from many individuals 
and from varied groups in different communities. It was 
small groups of people who invited the Ten to send speakers 
to different university campuses. Nelson Algren, the 
novelist, headed a group in Chicago. The Arts, Sciences and 
Professions [Committee] of the Progressive Citizens of America 
was very active, primarily in New York and Los Angeles. 


The Unitarian church in Los Angeles, under the leadership 
of Stephen Fritchman, gave us full support. The Communist 
party of Hollywood helped us, but the Communist party 
nationally did not. To my best recollection, the national 
Communist party gave us no help whatsoever. It was 
embattled by various attacks upon it, and indeed, in the 
summer of 1948, its top leadership was arrested under the 
Smith Act. But even beforehand, its attitude seemed to be, 
by implication, you're doing fine boys, go ahead. And we 
had no leadership from the Communist party in Los Angeles. 
We made all decisions and did everything on our own. 

At the end of March 1948 I spoke in New York City at 
a "Stop Censorship" meeting in the Hotel Astor ballroom. 
The people who had been active in the committee had done 
a fine job of organizing, and the audience of perhaps 
300 or 400 was an audience of very distinguished people in 
literature, theater, and the arts in general. I know I 
recognized certain individuals in the audience like 
Elmer Rice and John Hersey and Joe Hirsch (the painter) and 
others. I was the main speaker and I was preceded by 
Burgess Meredith, Florence Eldridge, Jose Ferrer, and 
Christopher La Farge. I made my principal appeal on the 
issue of censorship. [phone rings--tape recorder turned off] 
I said this in the course of my remarks: 


We who are assembled here tonight are varied 
people. We cannot possibly have the same tastes, 
creeds, sympathies or ideas. It is not urgent 
that we do so. It is extremely urgent, however, 
that as artists working in different fields we 
preserve for ourselves the right to work free 
of censorship. That right depends upon the 
freedom to think and to express our thoughts. 

And then, in a reference to remarks I had made earlier, I 

said : 

This evil has a long history. Are you or are 

you not a Christian, you who commit treason against 

the Roman state by your belief in Jesus Christ? 

Are you or are you not a Jew? Keep silent at 

your peril because it is the Inquisition that 

asks. Do you uphold the God-given right to own 

slaves? And if you don't, you'd better not 

speak out, you damned abolitionist, because 

you'll rot in a swamp. Are you or are you not 

an Irishman and a Roman Catholic? And why 

should I, a member of the American party in 

1854, give you a job, rent you a house, allow 

you liberty the equal of mine? Are you or 

are you not a member of a trade union? If 

you are, you can't work here. The question 

varies, the punishment varies, but it is 

essentially the same question directed to 

the same ends. For myself, I will not go 

along with these questions. I ask the 

right to my own ideas, the right to speak 

them or hold them in private, free of 


My newspaper scrapbook tells me that I received an ovation 

after this, and it's interesting that I completely forgot 

that over the years, because the temper of the times was such 

that this committee languished and did very little 

afterwards . 

Each time that I returned home from a trip like this, 

I put in as many hours on McKeever as I could. But there 


were always meetings of the Ten, meetings with the attorneys, 
sometimes I made three local speeches a week. However, my 
adrenaline was flowing at a very high rate, and I kept 
going many hours a day. The others of the Ten were also 
very busy, of course, but didn't have the same schedule 
as mine. I'm sure that Lawson did a great deal of local 
speaking. I don't recall whether he went on any of the 
national tours. And I think it was the same with Sam Ornitz. 
Lester Cole, Adrian Scott, Ring Lardner, and Alvah Bessie 
had various speaking engagements in the East and Midwest, 
although Lardner went to Switzerland for some months to 
work on a film, and Dmytryk was abroad for about a year and 
a half in London, during which time he made two films. 
GARDNER: There was no objection to . . . 
MALTZ: No, this . . . 

GARDNER: . . . any of the Ten leaving the country? 
MALTZ: No, there was no passport policy at that time. But 
later, as I will mention, after we lost our case in the 
appellate court, both Dmytryk and, I think, Lardner, who was 
also still abroad, were asked by the Justice Department to 
return home, and they did so. My records tell me that in 
the middle of May there was a meeting in Madison Square 
Garden which was an anti-Mundt Bill rally under the auspices 
of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee. Tne Mundt 
Bill, which I think later became the Mundt-Nixon Bill . . . 


GARDNER: Your tape's out. 

MALTZ : Thank you. Jtape recorder turned off] . . . 
Nixon bill established a Subversive Activities Control 
Board that required so-called heretical groups to register 
as traitors. Howard Fast and I were the featured speakers 
at this meeting, and I don't remember anything about it 
at all. [laughter] It was just another meeting. Now, 
it could be that at this time, when I was in New York, I 
was telephoned and asked to join Charles Katz , one of our 
lawyers, in a trip to Washington for purposes that I'm 
now vague about; it could possibly have been in 1949 rather 
than in this year. All I know is that it was in the 
baseball season, because when Charles and I were in 
Manhattan, Charlie said, "We've got an afternoon, let's 
take a cab over to Brooklyn and watch Jackie Robinson 
play, I've never seen him play." So we went to a Dodger 
baseball game. But I do recall several events in Washington 
that I want to mention, one in particular. 

We saw and chatted with a man who was a member of 
Truman's private cabinet. He was his adviser on minorities 
(and I don't remember his name) , and I guess all we did was 
talk about the significance of the case to him and hoped 
that he might drop a little pearl in Truman's ear. The 
fascinating thing that occurred there was when we went to 
dinner in Washington at Harvey's Restaurant--I don't know 
whether I mentioned Harvey's before, have I? 


GARDNER: No, I don't think so. 

MALTZ : Well Harvey's Restaurant at that time was probably 
the best, or one of the best, eating places in Washington. 
It occupied several floors of an old building, and it had 
superb fish and a great ale which was a blend of its own. 
It also had an aura of age and tradition about it. And so 
whenever we were in Washington we went and ate at Harvey's. 
I had heard, I think, before this night that J. Edgar Hoover 
ate in Harvey's a good many nights a week, but since I had 
previously only been on one of the upper floors, I had 
never seen him. This time we were seated on the ground 
floor and with us was Lee Pressman, a chief attorney of 
the CIO whom I have mentioned earlier. And after we had 
been there for a little bit, J. Edgar Hoover came in. Now, 
it is interesting that in a period when gossip columnists 
like Winchell thought it was a neat scoop if they could 
mention that some prominent individual was a swish that 
there wasn't a whisper about Hoover, because I have never 
seen someone who was more obviously homosexual than Hoover 
was. He was a much bigger man than I realized, heavy and 
paunchy, with a very red face. And his behavior was 
unmistakable. Now, while we were sitting there, a man 
my age came with a party, passed me, and said with a little 
smile, "Hello, Albert," and went right on. This was Leon 
Keyserling, who was President Truman's chief economic 


adviser and who had been a schoolmate of mine at Columbia 
College. We had been friends there, and it was revelatory 
of the period that he didn't stop to shake hands, and 
stop for a moment or pause for some short chat, but said 
hello and went right on. 

However, it was also interesting that another party 
came in, and one of the members I recognized. It was the 
attorney, Morris Ernst, who was active in the [American] 
Civil Liberties Union and who had been an ally of mine 
in the council of the Authors League of America in opposing 
those who wanted to kick the Screen Writers Guild out of 
the Authors League. Morris Ernst threw up his hands in 
joyful surprise at seeing J. Edgar, and both men shook 
hands very warmly--I forget whether they embraced. I learned 
later that Morris Ernst had become Hoover's personal lawyer. 

However, the most interesting person of that evening 
was Lee Pressman. From the time that Hoover entered, Pressman 
became impossible. He changed his body position in his 
chair about three times every minute, exclaiming, "Oh, I 
can't look at that man! Oh, how I hate that man! How that 
man hates me!" And he went on like this in a manner that 
was impossible to curb. He spoiled dinner for me, if not 
also for Charlie Katz, because of this terrible restlessness 
and that repeated refrain. It's very fascinating that it 
was about ... I think it was shortly after we entered 


prison that Pressman became an informer. And this was 
the payoff on his behavior that night. 

One further grace note about this : somewhere along 
in the case Herbert Biberman told me that-- Oh, no . . . 
it was later, in Washington when we were waiting to go into 
jail, that Herbert Biberman told me that he had made a speech 
at someone's home in which he referred to Hoover's 
homosexuality. (It was, I think, the kind of invidious 
reference that nowadays Herbert would not make about someone 
who is homosexual.) However, the next morning two FBI men 
were at his door, and they said, "You made a reference to 
Mr. Hoover last night, and you're going to have to either 
put up or shut up." And Herbert told me this because, as 
we were waiting to be sentenced, he had the fear that he 
might get two years for having made that remark. The 
reason why he could get two years, and it was the same for 
all of us, was that we had been indicted on two counts for 
refusal to answer two questions, and each of them could 
have gotten us a year. It turned out quite differently, 
as I'll mention in due course. 

In April '48 the book by Gordon Kahn, Hollywood on Trial , 
was published. It remains today an excellent book after 
thirty years. And whenever we, any one of us in the Ten 
spoke, we would take copies of the book with us for sale. 
All royalties went to the financial needs of the case and 


not to Gordon. On May 2 or 3, I was in Washington for my 
trial. John Howard Lawson, the first of us to go on trial, 
had already been convicted, and Dalton Trumbo was on trial. 
Now, all of us were staying, not at the luxury Hotel 
Shoreham, but at a very modestly priced old hotel, the 
Lafayette, which happened to be across the large area of 
Lafayette Park from the White House. I remember that I was 
in a room, a two-bed room, with Ben Margolis. 

I'd like to pause and make a comment on the role of 
the FBI in those trials, and I'll speak now of the role 

of the FBI in the blacklist. 

When Lawson and Trumbo were on trial, the FBI went 
to the neighbors of the jurors. Now, J. Edgar Hoover 
invariably asserted before Congress, when he was asking 
for money for his outfit, or when he was giving out 
publicity releases, that the FBI was merely an investigative 
agency and that it turned its findings over to the attorney 
general and did nothing else. Well, this was as large 
a lie as that liar has ever told. Because it was in fact 
a very active secret police following Hoover's directions. 
Now, most of the jurors in the Trumbo and Lawson cases 
were government employees. And by sending FBI agents to the 
neighbors of the jurors, the FBI knew very well that the 
neighbors would immediately run to the home of the jurors and 
say, "Hey, the FBI has been here asking about your husband." 


No more intimidating an act could have been conceived 
to get those jurors to vote guilty in the case of Lawson 
and Trurabo. Later, during the blacklist when someone hired 
a blacklisted person, the FBI immediately intervened there. 
It would go to an employer and say . . . two men would go 
to an employer and say, "I wonder if you know that so-and-so 
is a subversive and that he refused to testify before the 
Un-American Activities Committee?" Most often the employer 
would say, "I didn't know that. Thank you very much. I 
will get rid of him immediately." And in that way the FBI 
sought to continue barring the given individual from any 
employment whatsoever. But if the employer said, "Yes, I 
know that. It doesn't make any difference to me," the FBI 
agents would say, "Well, now, that's very interesting. We 
wonder why you are willing to hire a subversive, and you're 
not concerned about it." And thereupon they would begin 
to investigate the employer. And this was all of a part 
with what was later revealed in the Watergate period, that 
the FBI had entered into secret activities to influence 
election campaigns, that it had committed burglaries, and 
that in general it acted like the secret police of any 

In view of the fact that Lawson had been convicted 
and that it looked as though Trumbo would be as well, our 
attorneys had discussed trying something with me that they 


hoped might possibly have an effect upon the jury. That was 
to have me act as a cocounsel with them, and have me speak 
to the jury somewhere along, I guess, at the end of the 
case in the final summation. And so I didn't attend the 
last several days of the Trumbo trial, but I worked in the 
hotel on an assignment that Ben gave me. And when he came 
back in the afternoon and heard the way I had handled it, 
I had done everything wrong from the point of view of the 
court, because he said that I would be interrupted by 
objections by the prosecutor in every line I suggested, and 
I felt very frustrated and didn't know how I was going 
to be able to do the job. 

It proved that I didn't have to because, when my day 
in court came in the next day or so, the attorneys, after 
I had been in court for about an hour, came to an agreement 
with the prosecutor which was as follows: that the eight 
of us who had not yet been tried would agree to accept the 
final verdict in the Lawson and Trumbo cases. If the 
verdict was that they go to jail, then we would automatically 
go to jail, and vice versa. This was desirable from our 
point of view because the cost of eight more trials was 
enormous, and also the time involved for the attorneys; 
and it was satisfactory to the government in order not to 
repeat all of the cases. And so I did not go on trial at 
that time, nor did the other seven. 


This might be a moment for me to express what I felt 
so keenly then: the enormous debt that I think this nation 
owes to those courageous and principled and hardworking 
attorneys who have helped keep the United States a 
democracy. Because in so many instances the law of our 
land has depended upon particular decisions and cases, 
and if not for attorneys who were willing in many cases 
to risk their own status in society and to work, often 
without fee, for principled reasons, this would be a 
very different nation. 

After the agreement had been reached, I drove back 
to Philadelphia and New York for meetings with 
Eddie Dmytryk, who had come for his trial also, and with 
his fiancee, Jean Porter, a young actress. They wanted 
to get married, and they had picked some place in 
Maryland where instant marriages were legally possible. 
I stopped off with them and, since I was there, became 
their best man. I mention this because it became extremely 
important later in my ability to write a certain article 
I did about Dmytryk in the year 19 51, when he became an 

In June, [for] three days — June 4, 5, and 6-- 
there was a peace conference in Hollywood that was held 
at the Roosevelt Hotel. I don't know how it was that I 
became as involved in it as I did. I think it was just 


that there was a vacuum in the organization of the conference, 
which was done by the ASP [Arts, Sciences, and Professions 
Committee], and in some way I gave an enormous amount 
of my time to it for about three weeks. [tape recorder 
turned off] The conference took place at the Hollywood 
Masonic Temple on Hollywood Boulevard, and the honorary 
chairmen were Thomas Mann and a scientist, I believe, 
Frits Went. We had a good many scientists involved in 
the several days of discussion, the most prominent of 
whom, perhaps, was Dr. Philip Morrison, who had been the 
physicist who had assembled the first atomic bomb in the 
plane when it was dropped over Hiroshima, and it was of 
course of great significance that now he was out in a 
public campaign for peace. Carey McWilliams spoke and 
Thomas Mann spoke, and I remember I spoke at it also. 

I remember with feeling a private meeting that took 
place before that conference at the home of two people I 
knew casually and whose names I forget with embarrassment. 
I'll think of it later. They subsequently were the authors 
of the play Anne Frank [Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich]. 
And this was a meeting of some people in the film industry 
to try and get their support, their public support, of 
this peace conference. I remember a moment in which 
Shelley Winters, who was then a young rising person in the 
field, said to Burt Lancaster, "I'll come out for it if 


you will, Burt." And she added very frankly, " I don't 
want to lose this little career I've got going. I've 
been a hoofer for too many years." The purpose of 
telling this story is to illustrate the climate of fear 
surrounding the word peace . [doorbell rings--tape recorder 
turned off] 

In the middle of June there was a meeting at the 
Embassy Auditorium on the case of the Joint Anti-Fascist 
Refugee Committee, the members of the board who were 
on their way to jail, and I forget who the speakers were-- 
I have it somewhere in my scrapbooks--but one of them 
was Dorothy Parker, and I was asked to pick her up because 
she needed transportation. I had never met her before. 
She lived with her husband, [Alan] Campbell, in a musty 
apartment, a musty old apartment in Hollywood, and she 
made me wait for about fifteen minutes while, with a 
vacant look, she went on a hunt for her gloves. And 
I didn't know whether she was swacked or what was 
happening with her, but I know that I was astonished by 
that empty look in her eyes. However, she spoke extremely 
well when we were on the platform. And so I never 
figured her out. 

On that day Variety published an open letter from the 
Ten on the case of the Anti-Fascist Committee which 
Alvah Bessie and I wrote. And in the middle of August I 


published a letter in the Saturday Review of Literature 
on the case of the Anti-Fascist Committee in which I said 
the following. [tape recorder turned off] I said that 
I believe that the Saturday Review needed to call upon 
the leading literary men and women of America, calling 
upon them publicly by name — Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, 
Pearl Buck, John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck, Louis Bromfield, 
Robert Sherwood, Carl Van Doren and Bernard De Voto, 
John Marquand, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O'Neill-- 
and ask them to interrupt their work and their lives in 
order to speak out on this issue, to agitate and split the 
sky with their indignation. "And I believe deeply that you 
must insist that if they remain silent, then they will be 
abdicating their moral responsibility." And those people 
remained silent. And the issue in the Joint Anti-Fascist 
case was very much simpler than the Hollywood Ten case. 
The members of the board had refused to hand over to the 
Un-American Activities Committee the names of contributors 
to refugee relief. And yet there was silence. 

When I was about three-quarters finished with the 
Simon McKeever novel, I got the offer of an excellent film 
job from an independent producer. It came to me through 
Adrian Scott. The material was splendid and the money was 
good. It was not what I would have gotten if there had 
been no blacklist, but it was much higher than the black-market 


rates that generally obtained after 1951. And I wanted it, 

in part, to use the money for the legal fund of the Ten 

I continued work on McKeever while I was starting to plan the 

film, and when I finished McKeever at the end of September, 

I began full-time work on the movie. 

GARDNER: What was the film? 

MALTZ : It was a film that we'll call the unnamed film. 

I can't name it still today because of the individual who 

put his name to it. The individual who put his name to it 

had no knowledge of what would happen to it, and it became 

an extremely successful film when it came out. It was the 

most successful film that he had ever written, and he got 

a great deal of mileage out of it. Now, when he put his 

name to it, he didn't know that would happen; and yet there 

was no way for him to repudiate it when it did happen. He 

had to accept the rewards that came with it, and it would 

be an unfair penalty on him ever to say that he hadn't written 

it . Sol. 

GARDNER: You never intend to reveal that? 

MALTZ: No. I'm stuck with it as he was stuck with it. 

When I finished the manuscript of McKeever , I asked 
a number of friends to read it and give me their suggestions 
and criticisms, and one of them was Adrian Scott. And 
Adrian came back with a comment that astonished me: he 
said that he thought it could make a very good film. It had 


never occurred to me in the course of writing it that there 
would be a film in a story about an old man. But he asked 
me if I would let him try and set up an independent production, 
and I said of course. And he went out and gave the manuscript 
to Walter Huston, who was then about the leading actor in 
American films, and Huston was delighted with the role and 
used to go around reading from the manuscript at parties. 
And so I just waited to see what would happen. 

I think I might mention that whenever I was in Los Angeles, 
there was during this whole period, once a week, a five 
o'clock tennis game with Judd Marmor, who was an old friend 
of mine--in fact, we had gone to college together, and he 
was now a practicing analyst and would become president of 
the Psychiatric Society of America--and with another analyst, 
and then with either Adrian Scott or a motion picture producer, 
Julian Blaustein, who was my friend. The Sundays at 
Roxbury Park continued with my kids and always with a tennis 
game in the afternoon with Phil Stevenson and a journalist 
we knew, Michael Simmons, and one of his two sons. 

During 1948 signs of what the blacklist in film writing 
would mean to my literary career as a whole began to become 
apparent. The project by the former head of German UFA 
to make The Cross and the Arrow as a film went down 
the drain, and I had been in correspondence since '46 
with a translator in the American Zone of Germany. It 


was a very cordial correspondence, and she had translated 
and published a number of my stories. But I suddenly 
received a letter which she wrote me with great regret 
telling me that she could no longer collaborate with me 
and asked me to stop writing to her because it would get 
her in trouble. However, there continued to be reprints 
of my work abroad in many other countries. 

I see by my publication ledger that I did two other 
pieces of writing in 1948. I wrote a brochure called 
"We Stand Against the Inquisitors" that was signed by 
Harlow Shapley, Carey McWilliams and others. I have no 
copy of it. And I participated in writing the conclusion 
to the appeal brief of the defense in the case of the 
United States against John Howard Lawson. This was merely 
a request on the part of the lawyers for me to try and get, 
I don't know, some flowers into the brief. Now, my income 
from writing in 1947 had been $43,000, and in '48 it 
was fifteen thousand and a half. Most of this was from 
The Cross and the Arrow royalties in the United States and 
abroad, and several thousand from the Naked City royalties, 
and 7,000 from the unnamed movie. In. . . . 
GARDNER: I'm just about at the end of the tape, so why 
don't we break for the moment here. 
MALTZ: All right. 


DECEMBER 18, 19 7 8 

MALTZ : I continued to work on the unnamed film until 
mid-February, when the producer and I were satisfied with 
it. It was a big job, but it had gone very well and had 
taken me only five months. Before I was finished, we had 
had to get a writer we knew to put his name on it, and this 
was accomplished. The screenplay sold very quickly to a 
studio for a large sum. Since there are so many stories 
about producer-hustlers, I would like to mention that 
there had been a misunderstanding between me and this 
producer about the sum that I would get if it were sold. 
I thought it was going to be about 5,000 more than he 
recalled it to be, and since he knew that I wanted to use 
most of it for the legal fund of the case, he just gave 
me the larger sum. And he's not the only producer I've 
known who is a man of absolute honor. 
GARDNER: You couldn't name the producer either? 
MALTZ: No, I can't name the producer. ... A man of 
absolute honor. 

At the end of February, I spoke at a testimonial dinner 
in San Francisco for a labor, Paul — Well, I have 
to pause just a second . . . [tape recorder turned off] 
It was Paul Schnur. And I want to quote from it a little 
bit, because in order to face what was all around myself 


and others in our society, I had a need to work out 

philosophic and political attitudes, and this is one 

example of that. 

If there are things we cherish about this 
world and this nation of ours, and there 
is much to cherish, none of these goods 
have come to us by accident. The majesty 
of the American nation is the result of a 
process in which many people, celebrated 
and anonymous, participated. Ralph Waldo 
Emerson had a hand in the shaping of our 
lives when he joined the executive board 
of the Boston vigilante committee for the 
abolition of slavery*; so also Dr. [Joseph] 
Goldberger, eating pellets of dung in order 
to demonstrate that pellagra is a disease 
of malnutrition and not of infection; so 
also the conservative jurist Charles Evans 
Hughes, condemning the 1921 Palmer raids 
against radicals as an outrage upon the 
entire American people. These were but 
three of the movers and shakers who, by 
one action or another, helped mold the 
world in which we live, and all that they 
did was part of the large turning wheel 
that is the march of the people. The 
New York City trade union that went to 
the Civil War in a body in order to abolish 
slavery; the Philadelphia shoemakers who 
organized a trade union in 1809 even 
though it was declared a conspiracy against 
the government to do so; the millions 
who have spoken up with courage to a 
neighbor and cried shame, who have signed 
petitions, tossed tea into Boston Harbor, 
given pennies to save Sacco and Vanzetti, 
walked picket lines--we are part of this, 
each one of us. We stretch far back, 
go deep, and can be effective. We have 
reason to feel kinship and take pride. 
We will not lose in the end in our 
quest for peace and social justice. 
It is impossible ultimately to lose a 
good fight. The struggle on behalf of 
a good fight is in itself a victory. 

t Abolitionist Vigilante Committee of Boston 


That's the end of that quotation, and perhaps I might want 
to reflect a little more upon the sum of what I said as to 
whether or not I believe it holds up. But the main point 
of it is that I was then not just speaking to others, I 
was speaking to myself. And it was of the greatest importance 
at that time, and it proved to be of even greater importance 
in the blacklist years, to find a philosophy by which one 
could live contentedly. 

At the end of February '49 our attorneys argued the 
appeals of Lawson and Trumbo before the U.S. Court 
of Appeals in Washington. During this period, hysteria, 
manufactured on high, continued in both the foreign and 
domestic scenes, and in both scenes it was fed by real 
events: for instance, the struggle with the Soviet Union 
over Berlin and the successful American and British 
airlift. This went on for six months. 

Domestically, among the prime events was the first 
Alger Hiss trial of 1949, and this is perhaps the time to 
mention that, as everyone knows, Nixon started his real 
career, and it led to the presidency, over the Hiss case. 
In 1975 the bulletin of the New York Committee on Emergency 
Civil Liberties came out with a photograph of Nixon 
holding the microfilm found in the—allegedly found in 
the pumpkin papers by Chambers, the witness against Hiss. 
I've garbled my sentence, but it was Nixon holding the 


microfilm up and peering at these photographs of "secret" 
documents that Hiss had allegedly turned over to Chambers. 
In '75, under the Freedom of Information Act, the content 
of these pumpkin papers was revealed. Several of them were 
blank, and the others were routine reports dealing with 
navy lifeboats, I believe, and fire extinguishers. So 
that here was a man who started on his way to the presidency 
by what must have been known as an absolute falsehood at 
that time. 

GARDNER: Turn off for a second, let me tell you something, 
[tape recorder turned off] 

MALTZ : At the same time that the Hiss case was being tried 
in New York, there was the trial of the eleven Communist 
party leaders on grounds of conspiracy to overthrow the 
government by force and violence. And in late August there 
were the terrible events at Peekskill, New York. Just in 
case this oral history is ever read by someone who is not 
familiar with the events, I would like to give a short 
quote on it from the Belfrage book. [tape recorder turned off] 
This is a quotation from page 107 of the Belfrage book: 
"Learning of a plot by male, female, and child heretics 
to hear Paul Robeson sing of peace and brotherhood in 
a quiet spot near Peekskill, New York, American Legionnaires 
mobilized local patriots to frustrate them with clubs, 
rocks, and police and state-trooper support. The heretics 


refused to take warning from the first onslaught and 
organized a second concert with subversive war veterans 
forming a protective ring around the audience. The 
strategy of the patriots, among whom women and teen-agers 
abounded, was to line the only exit road after Robeson 
finished singing. Police formed a gauntlet through which 
concertgoers could be forced for the club-wielders ' 
convenience, and in a polyphony of shattered car-windshields 
and cries of 'Commies, nigger- lovers , kikes, string 'em up!' 
substantial casualties were inflicted: 145 injured, one 
almost totally blinded, two not quite killed." Howard 
Fast, who was on the platform at both meetings, wrote a 
pamphlet called Peekskill, U.S.A. , which was published 
by the Civil Rights Congress and which is a very graphic 
account of the absolutely hideous events. At the second 
meeting there were close to 25,000 people, but the attack 
upon them was so tactically organized by the police and 
the vigilantes that no defense was possible once they had 
left the meeting ground. 

During this period the blacklisting and blackmailing 
activities of Red Channels , Counterattack , and AWARE were 
going on and getting strength. Adrian Scott had been 
unable to get backing for a film based on my McKeever 
novel. And some weeks before official publication date, 
I received bound copies. 


GARDNER: Who was your publisher? 
MALTZ: Little, Brown and Company. 
GARDNER: It still was Little, Brown? 

MALTZ: Yes, they had published all of my novels before I 
was blacklisted—well, my three novels, that's all there 
were. And I gave the copies to Mary Baker, my agent, and 
after she read the book she said, why don't we submit it 
for films? Because, at that time, the blacklist statement, 
the blacklist edict, applied only to the employment of the 
ten men and not to original material. To my absolute 
astonishment, three studios bid on it in the first week. 
And we sold it for the highest price offered, $35,000, to 
Twentieth Century-Fox. 

GARDNER: So you couldn't write for the studios, but they 
could buy your novel? 

MALTZ: That's right. That was the situation then. Fox 
immediately began production plans. Fox hired Jules Dassin 
to direct it, a writer whose name I forget to do the 
screenplay, and they opened negotiations with Walter Huston 
to play the role. Now, I want to read. . . . [tape recorder 
turned off] Within four or five days after the announcement 
by Fox that it had purchased my book, a campaign was started 
in the Hearst press to have Fox back out of the purchase. 
And the Motion Picture Committee [Alliance] for the 
Preservation of American Ideals began to bombard the board 


of directors of Fox in New York in protesting this purchase. 
And within two weeks of the date of its purchase, the board 
of directors in New York announced that McKeever was not 
going to be made as a film. And the New York Times noted 
that "studio abandons The Journey of Simon McKeever in a 
move unique in Hollywood," saying that "public abandonment 
of a story property less than two weeks after its purchase 
is unique in Hollywood practice . . . and although neither 
Spyros Skouras, president of the corporation, nor Darryl 
Zanuck, vice president in charge of production, was available 
for comment, it was understood that the decision was reached 
as a matter of corporate policy, in effect disavowing the 
purchase because of Maltz's alleged Communist connections." 
The Nation wrote the following: "The cancellation emphasizes 
the importance of a statement issued by the Authors League 
at the time of the Hearings. In the past, the statement 
says, 'censorship commonly operated only against a work 
produced and issued to the public and only against one 
work at a time, with the author being afforded the 
opportunity of refuting the specific accusations in a 
court of law. * But the new censorship runs not against 
the work but against the man. For the motion picture 
industry has now made it painfully clear that the 
anti-Communist hiring policy applies not merely to the 
employment of certain writers but to the entire work 


of these writers, past, present, and future, regardless 
of content or subject matter." And so this was the 
extension of the blacklist to all original work written 
by the ten men, and later this applied, of course, to 
everyone else who was blacklisted. 

There was a protest meeting organized by the Hollywood 
Ten at the El Patio Theatre in Hollywood on March 25. 
The chairman of the meeting was Stephen Fritchman of the 
Unitarian church, and the speakers were Carey McWilliams, 
Bob Kenny, Karen Morley, and myself. There was also a 
dramatization of the novel by Arthur Laurents with Will Geer 
playing the leading role. And the dramatization was done 
as though it were a radio drama, around a microphone. 
My talk had the title (in the small book I later published 
called The Citizen Writer ) of "The Anti-American Conspiracy," 
and I want to read a few remarks from it. I said: "For 
this is the purpose behind the blacklist of a university 
professor or of ten men of Hollywood, of forty postal 
employees or eighteen county workers or a dozen scientists. 
The purpose is the regimentation of all professors and all 
government workers and all film artists. One is destroyed 
in order that a thousand will be rendered silent and 
impotent by fear. Through fear and hysteria Americans are 
to be induced to give up their rights as free citizens." 
Less than a month later the [Arts, Sciences, and 


Professions Committee] had a meeting at Carneqie Hall 
in New York to launch a new cultural center. The chairmen 
were John Martin, the dance critic of the New York Times , 
Arthur Miller, and Clifford Odets. And Joseph Bromberg, 
the actor, redirected the dramatization of McKeever 
written by Laurents and did it in the form of a regular 
play. I was not present. They also did a short work, 
"I've Got the Tune ," by Marc Blitzstein. I might pause 
to remark that Joe Bromberg was a man I knew cordially 
although not intimately, who happened to be the man 
to teach me how to play chess, and his son Conrad used 
to play ball with me at Roxbury Park. And Marc Blitzstein, 
I will take the opportunity now to say, was a very dear 
friend when I lived in New York and someone I cherished. 
He was talented and was a most engaging man personally, with 
a tragic emotional problem. When I met him he was married, 
and his wife died within a few years of that time. And 
Marc even then was, I believe, a homosexual, and he 
seemed to have a compulsion to go down to the Brooklyn 
Navy Yard and pick up sailors. And the last time I saw 
him, he was staying for a while in Cuernavaca, Mexico, 
and we had a very fond reunion. And then in the early 
sixties, I believe--in the mid-sixties he was beaten to 
death, I think in the Virgin Islands, by several sailors. 
And I've always tried to change my thoughts when I . . . 


when the image comes of that sensitive, marvelous man . . . 

just being bludgeoned to death. 

GARDNER: He, too, suffered from the . . . 

MALTZ: . . . the blacklist? 

GARDNER: . . . the blacklist, didn't he? 

MALTZ: Marc? No, I don't think Marc was blacklisted, no. 

Well, I don't know. 

GARDNER: Because it seems to me the volume of his work 

really was not significant after the late forties, and 

suddenly he was revived again in the sixties. 

MALTZ: No, no, that's not right. Because now I remember 

it was during the blacklist era that he had long, a very 

long-running version of The Threepenny Opera for which he 

had done the translation. 

GARDNER: Oh, I wasn't aware of that. 

MALTZ: . . . and he had done the lyrics; it played in 

New York. And Marc was not blacklisted. He was just 

such a lovely person. And it's so tragic that he had 

this compulsion. 

McKeever was then published, and it had, interestingly 
and significantly, about half the reviews in the country 
that The Cross and the Arrow had had. I made a mistake 
in deciding to list, in addition to other work published, 
the films that I had worked on because this was a clue 
for various reviewers to say that of course I had written 


the book with Hollywood in mind; and with that disparaging 

comment, they tossed the book aside. However, it had 

quite a number of quite good reviews. In the New York Times 

the review by William Du Bois said, "in a tightly plotted 

short novel Mr. Maltz achieves an effect all too rare in 

current fiction, an affirmation of faith in man's courage, 

man's will to put things right in a badly off-center 

world." The Sunday New York Herald Tribune , with the critic 

being Milton Rugoff: "Albert Maltz has once again attempted 

to fuse a fine talent for storytelling with an urgent sense 

of our social problems. It is an attempt illuminated from 

time to time by vivid characterization and by the author's 

faith in the underlying kindness of the average man. But 

as a story it strains credibility and as a message is 

forced. Mr. Maltz 's narrative would seem to have much 

more of what we call plot and suspense. Like so many 

other novels that are Hollywood bound, it achieves these 

at the expense of plausibility. The Journey of Simon McKeever 's 

clearly constructed with much good brick and some fine 

wide windows, but the foundation is one of those illusions 

in which movie cameras are expert." And it was precisely 

because--and it was also because there had been all the 

publicity about its being purchased by Fox that they said 

this. The daily New York Herald Tribune , with Lewis Gannett 

reviewing it, said: "Albert Maltz 's short novel is the 


Pilgrim's Progress of this old man, a discerning and 
humorous legend of old age in our time that somehow 
just misses shining success. For all its weakness, this 
is an appealing and heartwarming story of the essential 
dignity of an American." And finally, in the New Republic , 
Richard Gehman said: "Yet because some people say that 
Mr. Maltz is guilty of something or other, I find it 
impossible to disassociate this word from his name. I 
find him guilty in this book, for example, of believing that 
people are for the most part good hearted, that life in 
the main is not all bad. I find him guilty of saying 
that some men make mistakes in their life and regret them 
later, that some men are forced by circumstances into 
situations they find distasteful; but upon finding themselves 
in these situations, they can adjust. I find him guilty 
of expressing the thought that a man's work may be so 
precious to him that he does not want to quit it, that 
a man can get sincere pleasure and satisfaction from 
serving others. Worse yet, I find Mr. Maltz guilty of 
having written a book . . . [tape recorder turned off] . . . 
that is altogether human: a little too slick in some 
spots, a little too rough in others, a book that is, 
like most human beings, interesting clear through." 

McKeever was finally published in ten countries, which 
is the smallest foreign publication of my first three novels. 


And interestingly, it was published primarily in the 

Western countries; only two socialist countries issued 

it. I have no explanation for that. The Commonwealth 

Club in California gives a prize for literature--I don't 

know whether every year or every several years or when-- 

but this got a silver medal for that year for literature. 

And as I learned from some insiders, it was a final 

contestant for National Book Award in the first time that 

that award had been given. It was won by a man with 

whom I was friendly, Nelson Algren, for his very good book, 

The Man with the Golden Arm . 

GARDNER: What's your own feeling toward the book? 

MALTZ: Toward McKeever ? 

GARDNER: You're very fond of it, aren't you? 

MALTZ: Yes, I'm fond of it. I think that on the whole it's 

a very good book, or it's a good novel. I do feel, now 

that I wrote a screenplay on it and had to examine its 

tissues very carefully with the director, that there is 

an aspect of it which was not clearly thought out, rather 

muddy thinking, and that had to do with McKeever 's dreams. 

Because there was no way of translating them into the 

screenplay, and some of that had to do with the difference 

in form, but some of it had to do with the original 

writing in the novel. So I would say it's flawed, but I 

do like it. 


In March '49 the Arts, Sciences, and Professions 
Committee had a large peace conference in New York at the 
Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It was attacked and sabotaged 
by the government and by a group of intellectuals led by 
Dwight MacDonald, Mary McCarthy, and Sidney Hook, who used 
the opportunity to say, quite truthfully, that there were 
no civil liberties in the Soviet Union. Of course there 
were not, but what that had to do with being against a 
peace conference was never satisfactorily explained. There 
is a very excellent short summation of what happened in the 
Belfrage book, pages 95-99, and, without reading them, 
I just want to give one little quote. He says that "the 
combined efforts of federal and local probers, blacklisters , 
familiars and free-world intellectuals would see to it 
that no such gathering occurred again until the third year 
of America's war in Vietnam. Presence at the Waldorf Astoria 
in March 1949 became almost as black a mark in a dossier 
as presence in the wrong part of Spain between 19 36 and 

In April or May of that year I had an interlude of 
about one week which was very charming. Burt Lancaster's 
manager, Harold Hecht, whom I had known, came to me and 
said that Lancaster, with his former circus partner, a 
man by the name of Nick Cravat, were going to join a circus 
in the Midwest for several weeks for publicity purposes. 


Lancaster and Cravat had for some years before World War II 
been partners and had played in circuses and in nightclub 
acts. And after the war Lancaster quite quickly became-- 
was cast in a play in New York and from that play came to 
the film industry. And Nick Cravat came along and used 
to work out with Lancaster , who was always concerned about 
keeping up his physical condition. They used to run 
together in the morning and so on. And Hecht asked if I 
wanted to go along with them to the circus and see if I 
could come up with a film story based on the circus. I 
was free and able to do it, and I was delighted to do it 
because I'd always been a circus buff. 

And so I joined them in Indiana in some small town 
and traveled with them and with the circus for a week. 
It was an absolutely fascinating week for me, and I came 
back and wrote out a great many pages of notes about it. 
And I came back with two short stories that I wrote, but 
I was never able to find a satisfactory film story. 
One of the short stories was "Circus Come to Town," which 
is in my second volume of short stories, and the other 
was never published as a story, but in the early sixties 
it sold under the name of Julian Silva (which was a 
pseudonym I was using at the time) to a TV show--sold to 
a network. And it became--maybe not to a network but to 
some program — and it became a TV show in which Cornel Wilde 


appeared and was called "The Great Alberti." I never 
saw it, and I never knew on what program it appeared. 

In May I began to work on "Circus Come to Town," 
and around this time I also began work on something that 
occupied a good deal of my time and also took a great 
deal of my money, and that was the amicus curiae campaign. 

As we started to approach the Supreme Court, our lawyers 
had spoken of the desirability of our getting f riend-of-the- 
court briefs from organizations such as the Civil Liberties 
Union and others, and as I inquired about it, I learned 
that it would be considered of great value if we could 
get a great many briefs. And so, with the agreement of 
the others, I sort of went off on my own and worked with 
Pauline Lauber Finn on developing an amicus curiae campaign. 
I seem to recall that we worked out a form of suggested 
brief that organizations could use if they wished, and 
Pauline was the one who got addresses and got the letters 
done, and we circulated a great many organizations. I don't 
know whether--I must. . . . Yes, I believe that later I 
will tell what happened as a result of this campaign. If 
I don't, I hope you will remind me. 
GARDNER: Okay, I will. 

MALTZ: In the middle of June, the convictions of Lawson 
and Trumbo were confirmed by the appellate court, and so 
we were on our way to the Supreme Court. And at that time 


Dmytryk and Lardner were ordered home--I think Lardner 

may have been home already—were ordered home by the Justice 

Department. At the end of June my records tell me that 

I went to New York--oh, yes . . .no, this was in my book, 

in my little, small book--went to New York for a Madison 

Square Garden rally that was sponsored by the Civil Rights 

Congress. Paul Robeson spoke, and several of the Communist 

leaders, who were already sentenced to jail, spoke. And 

the title of my talk was "Books Are On Trial in America," 

and I want to read some small portions of that. I began 

it by saying: 

On October 27, 1553, a man was burned at the 
stake in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. His 
name was Michael Servetus, he was a mathematician, 
a physician, and a student of theology. He was 
burned because he had written a small book on 
Christian doctrine called On the Errors of the 
Trinity . It was a book that expressed for the 
first time the creed now known as Unitarianism. 
And when Servetus was tied to the stake, the 
book he had written was chained to his body; 
book and man burned together. We Americans 
have reason to ponder this today. 

I went on to say: 

It is easier to understand the events of the 
past than the confused turmoil of the present. 
It is a bitter thing for our nation, I believe, 
that so many people do not know that today in 
the city of New York other books are in the 
process of being banned for a similar purpose. 
Point number nine of the indictment against the 
Communist party leaders in their current trial 
says this: "It was further a part of said 
conspiracy that said defendants would publish 
and circulate, and cause to be published and 
circulated, books, articles, magazines, and 
newspapers advocating the principles of Marxism- 


Leninism." Here is a volume of literature, 
some of which has been in existence for a 
hundred years and has been circulating in 
this nation for that length of time. If 
the principles of Marxism advocate the 
violent overthrow of the U.S. government 
as alleged, why has it taken a hundred 
years to discover it? Furthermore, the 
Smith Act, under which the indictment 
against these books was brought, was 
passed in 1940. In view of the number 
of informers who have allegedly been 
reporting steadily to the FBI that the 
books and the Communist leaders did 
indeed advocate force and violence, why 
did it take eight years to draw up a 
two-page indictment? It did not take 
eight years. And it is not the Communist 
party alone that is on trial in New York 
today. Surely one need not be a believer 
in the principles of Marxism to recognize 
what it means to America when books are 
put on trial. 

That summer, as soon as I got back from the meeting 

in New York, I took my oldest child, Peter, who was now 

almost twelve, to a camp near Seattle that had been 

especially recommended to us. He had just entered 

junior high, and although he had been moderately competent 

in his work in elementary school, he suddenly began 

failing in junior high. He didn't at the time tell us, 

but we learned later that he sat in his classroom in the 

new school feeling that the teachers were looking at 

him with accusing eyes because of his father. And we 

felt that if we could take him out of the inevitable 

heat of his home environment, because of the case, and 

put him where things would be more comfortable for several 


months, it would be good for him. And this was a camp in 
which there was no rigid schedule, and he would be in the 
woods with an opportunity to fish, which he loved to do. 
He was frightened of going away by himself, but I told him 
that I would put him in the camp and stay in the vicinity 
for one week, and if at any time he wanted to quit, I 
would take him home; but that if he liked it for a week 
and wanted to stay, then he could. And he found he liked 
it ; so I left him there. 

It was later in the summer that the two youngest 
justices of the Supreme Court, and the two most liberal, 
[Frank] Murphy and [Wiley] Rut ledge, both died within 
one month of each other. I felt then that our case was 
lost and that we would be going to jail. That was the 
first time I had believed that we would lose. 

My records tell me that I spent two weeks in the East 
in September on some business for the Ten, and I no 
longer recall the purpose of it, but it might have been 
the search for a very celebrated attorney to argue our case 
before the Supreme Court. I do know that I had a meeting 
with Telford Taylor and the associates of his law firm 
about the case. Taylor had been the chief U.S. prosecutor 
at the Nuremburg trials and was very good on civil 
liberties. I know that I had an exchange of correspondence 
with Zechariah Chafee of Harvard, and that I was in touch 


with Professor [Walter] Gellhorn of the law faculty of 
Columbia University (a brother of Martha Gellhorn) and 
with Professor [Thomas] Emerson of Yale University. But 
nothing came of our efforts. I no longer really remember 

Toward the end of September 19 49 Truman announced 
that the Soviet Union had detonated an atomic weapon. I 
have read not too long ago that this moment was really the 
start of the Rosenberg case because it is said that 
J. Edgar Hoover's reaction to this announcement was to 
leap to his feet and say, "Who gave them the secret of 
the atomic bomb?" Apparently, Hoover, like many Americans, 
was under the illusion that there were some special secrets 
to the atomic bomb and that if these were conveyed to the 
scientists of another country, they would be able to 
make the bomb, and without it they could not. Now this was 
a piece of ignorance contrary to the open statements of 
many scientists that there was nothing about the making 
of the bomb that physicists in other countries could not 
understand, that the only problems in making it were 
engineering problems. But from that point began, apparently, 
the FBI hunt to either find, or to manufacture a case 
against, those who allegedly had stolen the American atom 
bomb "secrets." 

Some time during this period, in spite of my preoccu- 
pation with problems of our case, I got a call from 


Edward G. Robinson asking me if I wouldn't write another 
speech for him because he had had a visit to Israel, and 
he was very excited about the country, and he was going 
to go on a tour to sell Israeli bonds, and he needed a 
speech. I found it very interesting to learn that he had 
been turned down by a number of others, because I asked 
him if he wouldn't go to others, including my old 
friend Michael Blankfort, who had also visited Israel 
and had become very pro-Israeli. (I might mention that 
Michael Blankfort had not been active in supporting the 
case of the Ten in the way that I would have assumed he 
would be. And I had not gone to the mat with him about 
it because of reasons that I have since forgotten.) 
In any instance, I went to Robinson's home, and he gave 
me various pieces of data that he wanted to include, and 
I wrote his speech for him. It was somewhere along in 
this period, I think, that Warner Brothers rereleased the 
film Destination Tokyo on Hollywood Boulevard, and we 
picketed the film and put out a leaflet asking people to 
contribute funds to the Ten and write protests and so on. 
GARDNER: The tape is just about out. Shall we quit for 
MALTZ: Yes. 


DECEMBER 18, 1978 

GARDNER: And we return to the case of the Ten. 
MALTZ : Yes, just a correction of a detail. The speech on 
Israel that I wrote for Edward G. Robinson was in March 
1950 and not in 1949. 

The amicus curiae campaign, which I had worked on and 
financed, produced briefs by a great many organizations 
representing some 20 million people. As a result of it, 
the Supreme Court changed its rules about such briefs. 
The rules now are that briefs--that they must give 
permission for briefs before they can be filed, and that 
had not been the procedure before that. 

I think that all in all we probably raised about 
$260,000 for our case in the two and a half years from 
the time that we were first held in contempt. Not 
a little of this came from Hollywood people, some of whom, 
of course, were able to anonymously give donations of 
1,000 or more dollars, as Burt Lancaster did. And that 
was used to support our whole public campaign and to pay 
all of the very expensive legal costs. I had not mentioned 
one notable piece of writing which Trumbo did, and that 
was his marvelous pamphlet Time of the Toad , which we 
circulated very widely. 


In the year 1949 there was a considerable amount of 
reprinting of my work abroad, and two anthologies appeared 
in the United States with my stories. Those had gone 
into the works before the blacklist. With the exception 
of those two stories that could not be omitted from 
retrospective anthologies like the 0' Henry Memorial Award 
Stories from 1915 to 1950, that kind of thing, no story 
of mine was printed in an anthology in the United States 
for the next thirteen years. My income in '49 was large, 
just under $70,000. Half of that was the film sale of 
McKeever , and almost another half were sums from Naked City 
and the unnamed film I've been referring to. The balance 
was royalties from The Cross and the Arrow . 

The political scene in 1950 began with the second 
Hiss trial in January, and he was convicted this time 
and received four years in prison. And when I come in this 
narrative up to 19 78, I will talk about Hiss again because 
I am in contact with him, and he now has the data proving 
his innocence. Perhaps I ought to amend that: it would 
not so much prove his innocence as prove that he had been 
convicted with tainted evidence used by the government. 

In February an event occurred which was very serious 
and had a terrible effect. I'm reading now from a 
chronology of events in John Wexley's The Judgment of 
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the edition that was put 


out in 1977: "Dr. Klaus Fuchs, German-born British nuclear 
physicist, arrested in England on the basis of a voluntary 
confession that he had transmitted atomic information to 
the Soviet Union . . . Fuchs tried and sentenced to fourteen 
years" in prison. Now, the seriousness of that was not 
that one individual had betrayed his trust and provided 
the Soviet Union with some useful information as that it 
laid the basis for wild charges that were made after that 
about atomic espionage as the source of the Soviet Union's 
ability to manufacture atomic weapons. Despite the assertions 
by scientists everywhere that not only did the Soviet Union 
but many other countries have the ability to make such 
weapons, and certainly the theoretical knowledge, the 
Klaus Fuchs incident was the basis for a public belief 
which the government built on to the contrary. Early 
19 50 also saw the emergence of Senator McCarthy on the 
public scene and his particular style, which was much 
more aggressive and flamboyant than that of any other 
of the witch-hunters. 

In April the Supreme Court refused to hear our case. 
Now, legally, this did not mean that they had ruled on our 
case or on its issues, it had merely decided not to hear 
it at that time. Therefore, the decision of the appelate 
courts stood and we had lost. As I said earlier, if the 
two justices who had died in the summer of 1949 had lived, 


I think the outcome would have been quite different. 
And if we had won our case, there would not have been 
the so-called McCarthy years. Because all of the committees 
of Congress--that is to say, aside from the House Committee 
on Un-American Activities, there were the McCarran Committee 
on Internal Security [Internal Security Subcommittee of the 
Senate Judiciary Committee--SISS ] , and McCarthy's committee 
[Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate 
Committee on Government Operations], whose name I forget 
for the moment, and all of them depended upon the same 
ability of summoning people before them, asking them questions 
about their political lives, and then getting them 
blacklisted. So that if we had won, that could not have 
taken place. Certainly it would not have ended the cold 
war between the United States and the Soviet Union, but 
it might have — I think it would definitely have made an 
enormous difference in the domestic scene. 

It is relevant to mention here that at no time had 
Edward Dmytryk been as militant in attacking the committee, 
and in defending our position, as he was in the period of 
six weeks between the announcement of the Supreme Court 
turndown and our going to jail. Actually, it was eight 
weeks. When we held a press conference, Dmytryk was in 
the forefront, speaking out boldly and strongly. And he 
was very active in that period. I mention this, of course, 
because of his subsequent positions. 


Our attorneys made use of what the law permitted in 
asking the Supreme Court for a rehearing. They didn't 
actually expect the court to provide one, but their attitude 
was, why not delay for six weeks--which was the period 
allotted—delay your going into prison? You never know 
what can happen, and it will give you time, anyway, to 
arrange your personal affairs. I just mention in passing, 
as the kind of thing that individuals faced, that 
when my daughter, aged seven and a half, was told that 
I would be going into prison, she looked at me with startled 
eyes and then asked if I would have to be naked in prison. 
Where she had gotten this concept I don't know, but it's 
the kind of thing that I'm sure happened in different ways 
to the other men. She went out shortly after asking that 
question, and my wife and I continued to talk with our 
son. Then, after a little bit, we heard a noise in the 
hallway, and then Kathy appeared with some sort of makeshift 
costume on, leading some other girls more or less the 
same age, and in an effort to cheer me up, came in singing 
"Here Comes the Bride." [laughter] 

I suppose it's not an irrelevant footnote to say that 
I had a particular anxiety based upon what had gone on 
during the thirties in certain jails and prisons where 
Communists were beaten by other prisoners who had been urged 
on to that by the guards. And at this time to be going 


into prison was to be going into enemy country, and so I 
took a crash course in judo, going every day, practically, 
for the six weeks. Since I had a background of boxing 
and wrestling, I came out feeling equipped, not certainly 
to take on a cell full of men, but one or another individual 
if that happened. I'm glad to say that nothing actually 
did happen in prison, although on two occasions there were 
men who began to get ugly with me, and in each case a man 
as big as a tree trunk, and I played it very quietly and 
they didn't do anything actually violent. But it made 
a considerable difference in my inner feelings to know 
that I would have been able to handle them. 
GARDNER: Were these fights — they were averted? 
MALTZ : Yes. 

GARDNER: Were they political? 

MALTZ: Yes. There was-- I'll mention it now, I'll come to 
it--there was practically no politics which came into jail 
life excepting for these two men— because most of the men 
in jail just didn't have any politics; they weren't 
concerned. But these two men did, and I imagine that 
they were trying to provoke me into doing something violent 
to them because it is very important in prison that if a 
fight occurs, the question is who started it. A man has 
a right to defend himself. And they wanted to be in the 
position of defending themselves, I suppose, and that's 
why they didn't go further. 


GARDNER: For a writer who always sought out various 

situations and scenes as background material for writing, 

and also for the nature of speech and different kinds 

of speech, did you find yourself, at least in part, excited 

by the opportunity to get into this other world? 

MALTZ : I'll mention that when I come to it. Because you're 

quite right, it's very interesting just to be in jail . . . 

for a while. [laughter] 

In the six-week period while our rehearing was being 
decided upon by the Supreme Court, I largely wrote, with 
some changes by Herbert Biberman and the ten of us made, 
a one-reel film called The Hollywood Ten . It was directed 
by John Berry and narrated by Gale Sondergaard. And I 
want to mention that because I went to Mexico after jail and 
because of other events, I never saw the film, the completed 
film, until 1974, I think it was, and I was impressed by 
the degree to which it held up. The assertions that we 
made stood the test of time and of later events. 

I remember a small incident which is interesting. 
Somehow, a luncheon was arranged with a Polish Communist 
who was in the United States, I don't remember his name, 
and perhaps three or four of us in the Ten were present. 
One of them was Dmytryk. And the only thing that I 
remember from the conversation is that the Pole said, 
in an effort to encourage us, or as a dry jest, "Your first 
term in prison is always the hardest." And I remember 


Dmytryk gasping aloud at that. [laughter] There was 
a great difference between men like ourselves and a guy 
who had worked in the Polish underground under [Joseph] 
Pilsudski. It was all the difference between. . . . Well, 
there was a polar difference. 

As soon as the sixth week was over, Jack Lawson and 
Trumbo had to surrender in Washington, and they left at 
once. There was a big demonstration in Grand Central 
Station in New York (I guess they had gone by train) where 
they were hoisted onto the shoulders of members of the 
crowd and carried out. But a week later we had to report 
in Washington for formal trials, the outcome of which was 
already decided by our signatures but nevertheless had 
to be held. Just before I left, I got a warm supportive 
note from Nelson Algren, who, without my knowing it at the 
time, had served some jail time for robbery when — Oh, not 
a robbery, not for robbery, no, no, no, no . . . for 
theft when he was a young man, and actually it had been 
a theft of a typewriter so he could do some writing, 
[laughter] And he said something about being sure that 
I could do the year sleeping on my ear, which was a jail 
term, and I was very appreciative. 

There was a — oh, yes, there was a final rally under the 
auspices of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions [Committee] 
to raise funds for our case. I might say that several of 


the Ten were absolutely indigent, and in one case there 

was a child to support as well as a wife in the other 

case, and so we tried to raise funds for them. And two 

speeches were made at the rally which were subsequently 

published in a pamphlet, one by Gale Sondergaard and the 

other by myself, and the title of the two was "On the Eve 

of Prison." I want to read a short part of the talk I 

made. I said: 

If we go to prison [still putting an if on it] , 
I for one will go with a deeper anger than I 
have ever felt in my life. What is the substance 
of that anger? For myself and my colleagues, 
our families, our work, our lives--yes , of 
course. But even more because I abominate the 
manner in which our land is now being befouled 
by the men in charge of the machinery of 
government. You will notice here that I do 
not limit my charge. When this case began 
in the fall of 1947, I did that as did 
others. I pointed to the evil actions of 
certain committees like the Un-American 
Activities Committee, to certain individuals 
like J. Parnell Thomas, [John E. ] Rankin, 
Attorney General Clark. But many things 
have happened in our land in two and a 
half years, bad things. And today it 
would be blindness to view such events as 
the work of a few individuals alone or a 
few reactionary committees of Congress. 
On the contrary, the time has come when it 
must be admitted that what is at work here 
is the total machinery of our men of 
government on a policy level and on an 
executive level. 

And I must say that in the years that have passed, looking 

back upon it and reading materials about it, I consider 

that that was a completely accurate statement. 


During the six-week period, I went to Edward G. 
Robinson to ask for money for the two women and one child 
who needed it, and he told me that he didn't think he 
could manage it. He had just given a loan to one of the 
men, and I had no doubt that he had; I could almost guess 
to whom he had given it. But here he was in a house choked 
with very valuable paintings, and he knew he was going 
to work immediately, and he could have done a little 
more, I'm sure. And I didn't feel too good about it, 
but there was nothing to say. 

It was a small pleasure to me, but only a small one, 
that I signed twelve contracts for books to be published 
abroad--that is, foreign editions for my wife to take care 
of mailing. And at the airport a farewell had been 
organized. I don't know how many people were there-- 
as I think back, it was anywhere around 5,000--to say 
farewell to us, and we took a night plane. 
GARDNER: Was that all ten of you? 

MALTZ : No, that was actually seven of us. Lawson and 
Trumbo were already in jail. Adrian Scott was ill and 
did not come into jail until, I think, a couple of months 
after we went in so it was the . . . 
GARDNER: . . . seven who remained. 

MALTZ: . . . seven who remained. In New York we stopped 
overnight and there was a meeting at a midtown hall-- 


Town Hall, I think it was— in which Paul Robeson was a 
featured speaker. And on my way to the hall, I met an old 
and very dear friend whose wife was already in prison. 
This was Bernhard Stern, a sociologist whom I had known 
since the early thirties. He taught at Columbia University, 
and he had been blacklisted, actually, since about the 
year, ah, 19--. ... I think it was around 1919. Because 
at that time he had been an instructor in the University 
of Washington, and he had given his support publicly to, 
I think, some IWW strikers, or some others in some labor 
struggle in the Northwest. And he was fired for his 
radical activities from the University of Washington 
and never again in his life did he ever get tenure at any 
university. For years he taught at Columbia University in 
extension, where what he earned was based upon the number 
of students he had. And since he was an immensely popular 
lecturer, he got along all right. At a certain period he 
was a visiting professor of sociology at Yale for a 
couple of years, but never got tenure. He published 
enormously. And his record of getting grants was a 
terrific one, but he, to one degree or another, was 
blacklisted. His wife, Charlotte, was one of the members 
of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, and so she 
was in the women's prison at Alderson, Virginia--Alderson, 
West Virginia, on a three-month sentence, and I remember 


his telling me that it was quite hard for her. And that 
makes me recall that, in some ways, you can never predict 
how given individuals will react to situations that 
are completely new to him. For instance, one of the members 
of this committee who was a hard-bitten trade unionist 
apparently could not take jail, and I was told that he 
cried every night that he was in jail. It was very 
surprising to me, but that's the complexity of human nature. 

We then went immediately to Washington, and then after 
going into the courtroom at once, we found that there was 
going to be a delay in our sentencing for one week. I no 
longer recall what the reason was, whether a given judge 
was not in town, or— I've forgotten entirely. But while 
all of the men except Herbert Biberman and myself went 
back to New York to see friends and theater or whatnot, 
Herbert and I decided to stay in Washington. And this 
was, for me, an absolutely wonderful stay. 

One of the first things we did was to take a trip 
to Mount Vernon, which neither of us had seen. And 
that was the beginning of the enormous respect that I've 
had all down the years for George Washington. Previous 
to that visit I, like a good many others, had read 
somewhat disparaging comments about Washington, especially 
in comparison to an intellect like Jefferson. But there 
were two things in Mount Vernon that set me to thinking 


very hard. Above a doorway, right where a stairway led 
to the second floor, there was the key to the Bastille which 
had been sent to Washington by Lafayette. Now one has 
to ask-- I immediately asked myself, and spoke to Herbert 
about it, saying, why would Lafayette send that key to 
Washington? Why not to Jefferson or Franklin, or why not 
to someone else somewhere in the world? Why did he pick 
Washington? And it was at once clear that Washington, who 
had been the head of the American Revolutionary army and 
its first president, stood in the mind of Lafayette and 
others in Europe as the leading force for liberty in the 
world, the liberty that they wanted. And this impressed 
me tremendously. 

And then came something else in the small museum that 
is on Mount Vernon to house various of Washington's 
effects such as--I remember some dental tools that he had, 
eyeglasses and so on. From some letters on the wall it 
became clear that when he went away from Mount Vernon he 
left a nephew in charge of it. Now, in the first place, 
Washington was one of the most wealthy men in the colonies. 
But he was away from Mount Vernon, except, I think, for 
perhaps one very brief return of a few days, for eight 
years, living often in unpleasant conditions. Certainly 
he had put his life on the line when he accepted the post 
he did. As a wealthy man he could have sat out the war as 


many in the colonies did. So one had, first of all, the 
realization that here was a man of principle and a man 
of courage who had an alternate path in the Revolution and 
had not taken it. And in the letter exchange, the nephew 
wrote to George Washington and told him that a British 
fleet had come up the Potomac and had anchored just outside 
the plantation and had demanded stores of food and other 
items with the threat that if they didn't get them, they 
would burn down the plantation. And the nephew said that 
he gave them the stores, and the plantation was intact, and 
that he hoped his uncle would approve. And Washington 
wrote back that he should have let them burn it down. Now, 
the man who wrote that was in my opinion one hell of a 
human being. 

GARDNER: Right. [laughter] 

MALTZ : I began afterwards to read about Washington, and I 
now have in my possession the two- volume history, biography 
of him by [James Thomas] Flexner, and in the added reading 
that I've done in that, I've found no reason to change my 
mind. He was, I think, a most extraordinary man and did 
things I won't go into now in military strategy that were 
very fine. 

It's, by the way, one of the things that has troubled 
me about the writing, or some of the writing, that Howard 
Fast has done. Because, although he is a writer with an 


immense narrative gift, I saw in one of his two books 
about Washington (I forget which name it is, what the title 
of the one is I'm talking about) a willingness to absolutely 
pervert history in order to achieve an effect. In this 
story he portrays Washington as a gentleman farmer who 
knew nothing about war and therefore committed blunder after 
blunder until, gradually and painfully, he learned how 
to be a commander. Well, that just isn't true. Washington 
was not just a gentleman farmer; he was one of several 
officers who had had maximum military experience in the 
French and Indian Wars. And to present him in that way was 
just utterly false. He was not chosen at random by the 
members of the revolutionary committee (I forget the name 
of it) . 

Subsequently, Herbert and I went to the Jefferson and 
Lincoln memorials, which are so enormously impressive, and 
we went to the home of Frederick Douglass, which was very 
hard to find because it was not in any way an official 
museum and was scarcely taken care of. But it was enormously 
exciting to see his home and to be able to sit down in 
his chair at his desk, as I did, and to put on his 
half-spectacles, which were still there, and to open the 
drawers and see his account books of what he spent for 
coal and food, because he was a man whom I enormously 
admired. Actually, I hope the notebooks and the spectacles 


are still there, because we could have walked off with 
them if we had wanted to. And in the course of. . . . 
GARDNER: Your [tape] just ran out. 

MALTZ: Oh, thank you. [tape recorder turned off] In the 
course of walking around Washington and seeing other such 
monuments— the statue of [Tadeuz] Kosciuszko, for instance — 
I felt that even though it was the Establishment in this 
Washington that was sending us to prison, that we were in 
contact in our spirits with the other Washington, with 
the Washington that did stand for liberty. And I felt 
that we were connected to the newspaper editors who had 
gone to jail in the Alien and Sedition period, and to 
Abraham Lincoln when he opposed the Mexican War as a 
representative in Congress, and to the abolitionists who 
had defied the Dred Scott decision. And so it was a very 
healthy and warming week for me, I know. 

I want to mention that during that week I saw 
I. F. Stone and his wife a number of times. They were 
old friends of mine whom I had not seen during my time in 
Los Angeles. And then an odd thing happened. At 7:30 one 
morning, when I was very sound asleep, there was a hard 
knocking at my hotel door. I stumbled to open it, and 
it was Iz Stone, who had been up all night watching a ticker 
tape on the invasion of South Korea by North Korea and 
who was so enormously disturbed that he needed to talk right 


away and had come to talk about it with me. Stone had been 
very much a part of the peace movement and of the Stockholm 
Peace Petition, and he felt that this action on the part 
of North Korea, which must have been directed from Moscow, 
was a horrible blow at the world peace movement, and he 
was just deeply, deeply upset. And that was the beginning 
of a period of thought which caused Stone to go abroad with 
his family for a year so that he could have access to the 
newspapers of France and England and other countries. And 
it resulted in a book, The Hidden History of the Korean War , 
in which he came to a conclusion that was just the opposite 
of the one he had had when he awakened me: namely, that 
the war had really been prepared by the United States, 
with Dulles as its chief stage manager, and that the North 
Koreans had fallen into a trap in invading. 

The night before our appearance in court, which resulted 
in our going right into jail, there was an interesting 
meeting, a kind of symbolic meeting of the executive board 
of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions {Committee] . Harlow 
Shapley came down for it, and there were several of us from 
the Ten who were on the board, and some others had come from 
New York. When the meeting was over, we sat around having 
some drinks and Shapley talked about astronomical matters. 
He was noted for his contribution to understanding of 
nebulae, I believe, and I've been told that he was one of 


the most important astronomers since Copernicus. But it 

was fascinating to get away from our small problems and 

to look at the world and the universe through the perspective 

of an astronomer talking of the millions of light years 

and the fact that conditions for life surely existed on 

many other planets besides our own. 

The next day in the court we were tried before three 
judges in three separate courtrooms. Each of us made a 
statement before sentencing which we had prepared, and I 
waited with considerable anxiety for my sentence, because, 
not yet knowing what any of the other men had received, I 
knew that theoretically it was possible that we would get 
two years because there were two counts against us. 
GARDNER: What had Lawson and Trumbo gotten? 
MALTZ: They had gotten a year, but I still felt it was 
possible that a given other judge would feel differently. 
But I got a year also, and the sentence was immediately 
carried out — that is, we were taken downstairs to the same 
place where we had been fingerprinted at the beginning of 
the case. But now we were put into a large room which 
traditionally is called the bullpen and where there were 
benches circling the room (or not circling, because it was 
a quadrangular room) and where there were other men who 
were being held to be taken back to the Washington jail. 
It was marvelous to have Herbert Biberman and Dmytryk 


come down because they had been sentenced before another 
judge, and he had given them only six months. And that 
was, of course, exciting. We were in the bullpen for quite 
some hours. What we didn't know, but found out, was that 
every court morning the bus brought inmates from the 
Washington jail to the courthouse because they were up for 
trial or sentencing or some kind of hearing, and the 
bus did not return to take them back until the court day 
was over. And the men who had come from jail had come 
with some sandwiches which had been given them, but we had 
not been given anything and so we had no lunch. 
GARDNER: The tape's about to end. Why don't we stop here? 
MALTZ: All right. 


DECEMBER 18, 19 7 8 

MALTZ : Of course, for me, the hours in the bullpen involved 
natural concern and anxiety about the way prison would be, 
about the way the jail would be for me. But also an 
anxiety that I_ had--perhaps the other men didn't have it 
the same way--was that if the McCarran Act were passed, 
I might go from prison to a concentration camp. And this 
fear never left me during the time I was in prison, but 
it only increased because the McCarran Act was passed. 
GARDNER: Could you explain why you felt that it would 
place you in a concentration camp? 

MALTZ: Well, yes, the McCarran Act (without my now looking 
it up) had provisions for the arbitrary detention by 
executive order of the president of individuals thought 
to be dangerous to the government in a crisis that the 
president would decide. And even before the act was 
passed, the government began to build concentration camps, 
and this was publicized. So that, in that atmosphere, 
there was no reason to doubt that if such an executive 
order were made, that I would be one of those who would be 
put into a camp. And since, when we were going into prison, 
there was no chance to run as others might do and try 
to go underground or get into some other country. 


It so happened by accident that Ring Lardner and I 
were handcuffed together in the walk from the bullpen 
through some long corridor to the prison bus, and we were 
photographed and that photograph appeared in Time magazine. 
I remember being asked later, perhaps it was on a visit 
by my wife, about how I felt about the "indignity" of being 
handcuffed. And I recall that I hadn't felt any indignity 
about it at all. That was routine, and I accepted it just 
as I was accepting the fact that I was going to be in jail. 
But, on the contrary, I felt that being handcuffed to Ring 
was a warm bond between him and myself. We were put into 
a bus such as one has seen with barred windows and taken 
to the jail, and there we were processed through taking 
off our clothes and showering. Then we had temporary 
jail clothes, some denims, because the next day we got 
our own clothes back, stinking from some disinfectant. 
And then we were moved through various barred doors until 
we came to the various cell blocks in which we were put. 
Only Lester Cole and I were finally in the same side of 
the same cell block, and we were on different floors. 

I remember that when a cell door was opened-- When 
a barred door was opened for me to walk alone down to the 
cell where I was to enter--the cell I was told to enter- 
it was a very strange time indeed, and I suppose a very 
lonely walk. I do recall very definitely that when I 


entered the cell and the door closed with the loud 
percussive sound that happens in jails like that, I looked 
at the bars with a sense of shock and thought to myself, 
my God, I'm locked up and I'm going to be locked up here 
for a year. And that was a moment that had to be bridged. 
I might explain in passing that the cell block was a 
rectangle that was very tall because it had five tiers. 
On the first tier on the ground floor there were white 
inmates; on the second tier there were just several inmates 
waiting for execution--that was death row; the third tier 
were white inmates, and I was on that one; the fourth tier 
had black inmates; and the fifth tier was open, and it was 
where we had our daily exercise, with the exception of two 
days when we were out of doors. From what I've read, the 
jail is integrated now, but just how it is integrated I 
don't know . . . how the men are. 

A quite--for me— anxious thing happened at my first 
meal. I had finished breakfast at 7:30 in the morning, 
and I believe that the evening meal in the jail was at 
about five o'clock, so that I was very hungry. And the 
rule in jail, in that jail, was that you had to-- You didn't 
have to take any more food than you wanted to as you passed 
the steam table with your tray, but what you took you had 
to eat. If you didn't eat everything on your tray, you 
were due for punishment. If you had taken an insufficient 


amount, then the men who served passed during the meal 
with a tray with extras, and you could ask for more of 
this or that. Now, without any experience, I don't remember 
what the-- I do remember that there were beans that night 
and perhaps the usual beets and onions, and I asked for 
two pieces of bread. It was white bread. We sat down at 
tables and our only utensil was a spoon, and the rule at 
dinner--the rule at mealtime — was silence: no speaking 
whatsoever. I think the reason for that is that [of] better 
control of the inmates because if you have some inmates who 
are hostile and who are in separate tiers, they could 
meet at mealtime and begin to insult each other, and the 
result might be a physical fight. The minute I bit into 
the first piece of bread, I knew I was in trouble. 
I don't know how that bread was made, but never, before 
or since, have I encountered a piece of bread so heavy, 
so tasteless, so bulky. To merely finish one piece of 
bread with the other things on my tray would have been 
as much as I could possibly do, and I simply knew that 
I would not be able, without vomiting, to eat the second 

Now, we knew already, I guess from the bullpen, or 
perhaps from talking to my cellmate between the time I 
entered and dinner time, that the punishment for bad 
behavior was the hole, and the hole in that jail was a 


dark cell with bread and water for a certain number of 
days. But most of all I was upset because we in the Ten 
had agreed that we would try to comport ourselves in 
prison so as not to give a bad name to left-wingers. There 
were going to be others who would follow us in, and we 
didn't want them to face hostile attitudes on the part of 
the administrators because we had made trouble. And so I 
thought, well, here I am, first thing off and I'm going to 
maybe go to the hole and get in trouble, and I was miserable 
because of it. 

The whole eating time only took about twenty minutes, 
and I finally, looking around at the guards, whispered to 
my cellmate, who was sitting next to me, and said, "I took 
too much, what will I do?" And he said, "In your pocket". . 
which should have occurred to me, I suppose, but didn't. 
And I then proceeded to break off pieces of the bread and 
get them into my pocket as I ate, and I think I got some 
beans into my pocket as well, but I was not observed, and 
I made it back to my cell, sweating, and got over that 
crisis. I use this in the novel I wrote about prison. 
(I would mention that Lawson and Trumbo were no longer 
there; they had already been shipped off to a penitentiary 
in Ashland, Kentucky.) The novel I mentioned, A Long Day 
in a Short Life , was set in this jail, but since the novel 
is not in most libraries, I'll describe just a few things 


about the jail here and. . . . [tape recorder turned off] 

The eighteen days that I spent in the Washington jail 
was very hard time, very difficult, and this was not 
because of any ill treatment on the part of the guards 
or any of the inmates. It was purely because the Washington 
jail was a holding jail for all different types of men 
charged, or declared guilty, of everything from the smallest 
misdemeanor to premeditated murder, and therefore it was 
very tight security. There was also, I think, perhaps a 
lack of enough guards for us to get out to the yard for 
exercise and so, including our mealtimes, we were only out 
of our small cells four hours out of every twenty-four. 
It was hot and humid at that time of year and, I imagine, 
cold in the winter. One perspired a great deal, but there 
were only two showers a week. And we who were transients 
were less fortunate on clothes than those who were there 
ready to be transferred to prisons because they had prison 
denims and were given changes twice a week. We had only 
our own clothes, which we were given back after the first 
day, and I remember washing out my socks and waiting for 
them to dry overnight and half the next day, and washing 
out underwear and so on. And we had no work; we used to 
envy those few inmates who were able to mop the floors 
because they had something to do. There were newspapers 
that did come in and were passed from cell to cell so that 


one could read a newspaper, and a truck came from a 
so-called library once a week and you could order a book. 
I remember ordering books that I knew would be long, like 
Dumas ' s [ Three ] Musketeers , which I read for the first time 
in prison. And that one came, but on another week I ordered 
something and it didn't come; something else came. And 
there was a great lack of reading material. I borrowed 
everything I could because we passed things from cell to 
cell by extending our hands out. And it was tough for 
people who had been--tough for someone who had been active 
intellectually all his life to be deprived of the oppor- 
tunity to do, to read, to think, and so on--well, you 
could think. [laughter] 

I do want to pause to say that that jail was a 
luxury hotel compared to some of the jails in the United 
States--some, not only of the southern jails which one is 
aware of, but, for instance, the jails and some of 
the prisons in Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, which at 
that time were simply horrible. 
GARDNER: Really. I wasn't aware of that. 
MALTZ: Yes, I wasn't aware of it until I met a couple of 
inmates who came out of it. It was just hell. And 
certainly, compared to the concentration camps of, let's 
say, not the German concentration camps, which were 
killing camps, but those a little better, not designed 


for mass murder at least, like the Soviet concentration 
camps, this was paradise. So I want to keep that per- 
spective. The food. ... I don't seem to have the list 
here. Now, just a second. [tape recorder turned off] 

For someone like myself, who had eaten well, the 
food was bad but there was no question that it could keep 
one alive and, I imagine, had some nutritional balance. 
For instance, a breakfast was some fried potatoes, oatmeal, 
a little skim milk, white bread, a pat of apple butter, and 
a hot liquid that they called coffee. [laughter] There 
were beans, of course, at other meals, a nutritious food. 
I remember terrible powdered eggs. It was flat, but if 
you're hungry enough, then you eat. I remember flapjacks; 
they had flapjacks a number of times. And so it went. 

I found that everything went very easy with the other 
inmates. I made no attempt to be with them anything other 
than I was, and I found there, as I did later in the prison 
camp, that inmates react on a very simple direct plane: 
if someone is agreeable they accept him; if someone is 
disagreeable they don't like him, and that's all there is 
to it. They did have a little problem in understanding what 
my crime was, because when I would say, "Well, I'm in for 
contempt of Congress," they would say, "What the hell is 
that?" [laughter] . . . having never heard of it before. 
And when I'd explain, someone might say, "Well, I'll be 


goddamned. I never heard of anything like that." Someone 
else might say, "Well, good for you, I'm glad you didn't 
stool," or something of that sort. And very soon, with an 
awareness that I had education, one or another would come 
to me for help in preparing a petition for parole or some 
other such item. 

I remember the first time, the first of the two times, 
we went to the yard. That was an occasion in which the 
seven of us could meet again because those from the other 
cell blocks would join us, and that was when I saw Herbert 
and Sam Ornitz, and so on. And that was a strange experience 
because now we were playing out a movie, as it were, because 
there were signs on the walls which said Stay Twenty Feet 
Away, and there were guards with guns watching us from the 
turret, and it was very strange to feel that we, who had 
never gone in for anything criminal, would be in that 
position. I remember a conversation with Dmytryk in which 
he said that he was glad to be here because he would be able 
to speak with pride to his grandchildren about what he 
had done in this period, and I mention that because of 
his later behavior, of course. 

I had a very, very pleasant cellmate, a man who was 
a barber in civilian life but who was cursed with terrible 
alcoholism, but now in jail was most agreeable and did 
his best to pass time easily. 


I think it was when I was only there for about a 
week that I got the idea of writing this novel that 
would be called A Long Day in a Short Life because each 
day stretched so long. And I by that time had been able 
to go to canteen, and since we had deposited some money, 
each of us was able to get pencil and writing-paper tablet, 
and so I started to make notes. In the course of the next 
ten, eleven days I made about seventy pages of notes 
about prison routine and about various of the men. There 
we had to learn, quickly, to write letters that we knew 
were going to be read by someone. It was forbidden to have 
any information in them about the jail so that you had to 
draw on other things in your life besides the immediacy 
of things around you. 

I had one visit from one of my brothers while I was 
there, and this was strange because the visits in the 
Washington jail were of the porthole variety where you 
talked by telephone, and it was a new and strange experience. 
And there were two events that I subsequently used in 
my novel. One was the attempted suicide of a man who had 
just come in (but he had been in prison before) . And the 
night he was committed to the Washington jail, he cut 
himself with something, and I remember the guard running down 
the tier to get to his cell and then, later, men coming 
with a stretcher, and I never learned what became of him. 


And something else which was just enchanting. There was 
one night after lights were out when I saw, in the big 
range area beyond the tier runway, a firefly. How the 
firefly had gotten into the range was very odd, but in the 
dark cavern it floated up and down with its light winking 
on and off, and it was just amazing. I discovered that 
other men like myself were at the door watching it because 
it was somehow a symbol of absolute freedom there. 

Around day fifteen of the time there, Herbert left 
and I heard on the grapevine that he was going to go, and I 
was watching for him to go. I might say that the grapevine 
is just a word for the fact that a prison is run in consid- 
erable part by the inmates taking direction from the 
officers. But if you have inmates in the administration 
office, they get to see certain lists, they hear certain 
things, and then they quickly pass down information because 
that's one of the pleasures of working in a job like that: 
you know something and you tell it to your fellow inmates. 
And so that was how I learned. I stood at the door of 
my cell waiting for him, and as he passed he looked over 
at my cell and there was just one second in which our eyes 
met, and we waved to each other and he went on. And 
then I, of course, was not to see him for a long time. 

I knew that I could not take the notes I made for the 
novel out with me, and so I memorized the notes that I had 


made, and when I was notified the night before I was to 
leave that I was due to go, I tore up the notes and flushed 
them down the toilet. 

All of us, of course, could have been sent to prisons 
closer to our homes in Los Angeles, but I'm sure it was by 
design that we were, on the contrary, sent to places in 
the East. Ring Lardner and Lester Cole went to Danbury, 
Connecticut, where they met former Congressman J. Parnell 
Thomas, who was already there for stealing from the govern- 
ment. And Herbert Biberman and Alvah Bessie went to 
Texarkana, Texas. Samuel Ornitz, who had a large tumor on 
one side of his neck, was sent to Springfield, Missouri, 
which was the hospital prison in the federal prison system. 
When Adrian Scott came into prison later, he was sent to 
Ashland, where Lawson and Trumbo were, and where, while we 
were in prison, Dashiell Hammett was also sent. He went 
there because, as one of the officers of the committee . . . 
let me see . . . I'd have to get that. . . . 
GARDNER: Well, we can check that. 

MALTZ: All right. It was a committee on civil rights. Maybe 
it was just the Civil Rights Committee.* He had been asked, 
along with Frederick Vanderbilt Field and Alphaeus Hunton, 
to deliver the names of the people who had put up bail money 
for individuals being defended by the committee, and they 
refused and so were sentenced for contempt and went to prison. 

r Civil Rights Congress 


Dmytryk was sent to Mill Point prison camp with me, and 
we went by car with two deputies. We left very early in 
the morning, and there was of course an absolutely 
marvelous feeling to be free of the walls after eighteen 
days and to be outside. And then a very amusing thing 
happened. The deputies got lost in all of the freeways 
around Washington, and Dmytryk said, "Look, I'm a pilot and 
I know how to read maps; maybe I can help you." And so 
they gave him the maps and indeed he did help them. And he 
not only got them out of Washington, but he directed them 
all the way to Mill Point. Now we were taken in--with normal 
security precautions, that is--Dmytryk and I were handcuffed 
together, and we also had a leg cuffs with a chain between 
us. But at a certain point the deputies stopped and went 
into a store and got us some sandwiches and some Coke 
bottles and drove on, and we could have hit them over the 
heads with the Coke bottles. And so much for their security 
arrangements. [laughter] But I imagine that they weren't 
very afraid of us . . .or afraid of our running, I mean. 

The Mill Point prison camp was in the mountains of 
West Virginia in the east central part of the state. It 
was near a state park and a wilderness area, about 
seventy miles from Charleston, the capital of the state, 
and about fifty miles from the town of Gauley Bridge, where, 
sixteen years before, I had found material for my first 


real short story, "Man on a Road." The Mill Point camp 
had been a former CCC camp. It consisted of an adminis- 
tration building, workshops, a hospital, a mess hall, and 
three barracks for men, and a quarantine building for new 
inmates. It was laid out quite attractively with a central 
walk that led from the administration building down to the 
mess hall and which was bordered in some sections with 
flowers. There were no bars, no walls, but there were 
signs around the perimeter of the camp which read Stay 
Inside. And if you went beyond those signs, then you were 
judged to be escaping and you would have a penalty for 
that. The atmosphere, however, in this prison camp was 
much more pleasant than that of penitentiaries, where the 
general attitude was that a guard was your enemy and that 
men seen talking with guards might be considered to be 
informers. Here the guards were trained for a situation 
in which men either had short terms or they were coming 
off long terms, and the prison system wanted to help them 
adjust to freedom. And so the guards had a more friendly 
and casual attitude with the men, conversation was possible 
as a normal part of prison behavior, and as long as men 
behaved, did their work, and obeyed orders, there was no 
problem at all. 

There was a five-and-a-half-day work week. Some men 
worked in maintenance, that is to say, in cleaning the dorms, 


in working in the kitchen and in the mess hall, and then 
others did outside work. There was a sawmill there, timber 
was cut, and the sawmill provided materials for building in 
other prisons. There was a farm on which vegetables were 
raised, a chicken house, and pigs and so on, and there was 
a strip coal-mine in which coal was cut. 

The population varied from 280 in the summer to about 
150 in the winter, when fewer men were needed because they 
didn't work the farm. One-third of the men were black so 
that they occupied one dormitory. Fifty percent of the men 
there were illiterate, and most of those were in for the 
making of illegal whiskey, moonshine. These were men, 
usually, from the mountain areas of Virginia, West Virginia, 
Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Some of 
them had never been more than ten miles away from the 
place they were born until they came to this prison. Some 
had never seen a shower bath before they came to the 
prison; they had never been to school; they had never voted; 
they had never used a handkerchief. It was astonishing 
to find this in the United States. And 60 percent of the 
men in the prison were in for whiskey, either making it or 
transporting it. The rest were in for petty and grand 
larceny, for arson, auto theft, transporting narcotics, 
hiking a check, forgery, passing counterfeit bills, 
Mann Act, mail fraud, income tax, but no one was there who 


was a real professional criminal. And, basically, these 
men were farmers, they were miners, they were sawmill men, 
especially the whiskey men who might--a mine might close 
and they would have no way of making money and so they 
would fall back on what their forefathers had done, and 
make whiskey. A sawmill would cut up all the timber in 
an area and move away, and so they'd start to make whiskey, 
and that's how they came to be in prison. 

We were able to receive as many letters from home as 
one's wife wrote, and I could write three letters a week, 
using one sheet of paper and writing on both sides of it. 
Similarly, one could not write anything about the prison. 
There were counts several times a day in which we had to 
be at our work place, and there were two counts at night. 
In addition to the pleasanter atmosphere than being in 
a walled prison, we had three days a month of extra good 
time. But the food was worse than it would be if we were 
in a larger prison because they didn't have the supplies 
or the money, so that I never saw an egg for six months, 
for instance, and what they called milk was blue from 
adulteration, and I knew from men who were transferred 
from Ashland that they ate much better there. 

We did all sorts of work for a while in quarantine. 
Just let's stop for a moment. [tape recoder turned off] 
In quarantine we had a variety of work: cutting lawns 


where the officers lived, working in the kitchen, helping 
a butcher, but mostly Dmytryk and I worked on a small 
dam in freezing water, and it was pleasant work in spite 
of the cold water. We could get out and warm up our hands 
and feet every twenty minutes or half an hour. But we 
were out of doors, and we both liked physical work, so 
it was okay. Then when we were assigned to permanent work, 
Dmytryk got work, a kind of bookkeeper's work, in the 
garage there which managed the trucks and cars of the camp, 
and I became hospital orderly and janitor, which is what 
it amounted to. The hospital there was a very pleasant one 
which had six beds plus an isolation room, and it had 
another room which was mine for sleeping. It had a clean 
dispensary, and I was extremely fortunate — and, oh, it 
had an office for the paramedical man, whom we called Doc. 
GARDNER: Cleverly. 

MALTZ: No, that was what everybody called him. He was 
"Mister," of course, but he was called Doc. It was 
extremely fortunate for me to have a private room instead 
of being in a dormitory with fifty other men. And it was 
especially valuable because in all free time the adminis- 
tration put on music which was piped into the barracks. 
Now, the music, two-thirds of the time, was soul music, 
because that's what the southern inmates wanted to hear- 
not soul music, it was country music . . . 


GARDNER: Country music. 

MALTZ: . . . which is what the southern inmates wanted to 
hear. And one-third of the time it was soul music, which 
was what the black inmates wanted to hear. This was by 
agreement between committees of both groups. Now, it 
happened that I abominated both types of music. As a 
matter of fact, the popular music of practically all 
countries, as soon as I get to know it, I begin to loathe 
it. [laughter] This is not a virtue on my part, it's 
just a statement of fact. And so I had the opportunity 
of turning off the music, the loudspeaker, in the hospital, 
and that meant so much to me that I can't — it's impossible 
to calculate how much it meant to me because otherwise 
I would have had to spend hours on Saturday afternoons and 
Sunday and evenings listening to music that I detested 
and, moreover, which was played over and over again because 
of a lack of a variety of records. 

The doc had been in the merchant marine, where he was, 
I suppose, a medical orderly. I think he probably had 
received a little extra training, but he was limited to the 
dispensing of pills and of deciding which men needed a 
doctor's attention. If they needed doctor's attention, they 
were kept waiting, unless it was acute, for a doctor to 
come up from a town about twelve miles away, as he did 
perhaps every three weeks or longer, depending upon the 


number of men who needed to be seen. If someone had a 
broken limb, as occurred, then he was taken to a hospital 
thirty miles away; the doctor did not set bones. Oh, 
he did more than dispense pills, of course. There were 
cuts and there were other injuries that he could treat. 
He had a lamp there for certain types of backaches and 
other such things. 

And he, interestingly enough, did absolutely nothing 
to train me. When Saturday afternoon came, he went off to 
this town, Marlinton, twelve miles away and didn't come 
back till late Sunday night, and things could happen in 
that interval in which I was on duty. So I borrowed some 
books from him and studied first aid as intensely as I could, 
and would ask him questions which he would answer. But 
I think he was basically indifferent to the welfare of the 
men and so didn't want to take the trouble. He didn't want 
to get any marks against himself so that he did what he 
could if he was on duty; but if he wasn't on duty, then 
nobody could blame him. 

My routine was as follows. I was up at 5:45 in the 
morning and dressed in whites to be the medical orderly. 
I put on a sterilizer in which there were some instruments 
in case he had to. . . . 


DECEMBER 18, 1978 

MALTZ: I would then go down to the mess hall for breakfast, 
and if there was anybody in the hospital, which happened 
about, perhaps, 25 percent of the time, I would bring 
breakfast back to him in a special container that was 
provided for that. 

The camp was up at about 6:30, awakened by loudspeaker 
into the various barracks, and almost invariably with 
the same call no matter what the weather was. It would be 
something like "Time to get up, it's a beautiful morning 
on Cranberry Hill." Cranberry Hill was the original name, 
apparently, of that area. Then at 7:15, as I recall, there 
was sick call in which. ... By that time the doc would 
be there, and men would line up in a hallway and would be 
admitted one by one. I would be seated at a table with 
the inmate's medical record to put down any notation of 
something the doctor ordered for him (and would occasionally 
come across a card in which, stamped in red on it, was 
the word syphilis . ) And sick call lasted perhaps about 
half an hour, and then I had the basic job of cleaning the 
hospital. That was my janitor's work: that is, the hospital 
had to be swept out and laundry taken care of and taken down 
to the laundry, the toilets (we had several toilets and a 
washroom) and showers had to be taken care of. And a big 


thing was waxing the floors, which sometimes I would be 
doing on hands and knees and which I never minded very 
much because it was my physical exercise to do it. On 
different days of the week I did special things, such as 
one day a week I cleaned all the instruments that were there, 
most of which the doc never used, and another day I would 
clean his office and polish his furniture, every damn thing. 
And so it went. 

But during the hours in which I was doing this kind 
of janitor work there would be individuals who would come up 
and would want pills for a headache, someone would come up 
with something in his eye from the sawmill, and I would have 
a solution to put into his eye so that I could go after-- 
that would dull pain for a minute so that I could go after 
something in his eye. Doc taught me how to lift a lid, which 
I didn't know, or I watched him do it, I guess. And sometimes 
there were more serious accidents. There were cuts which I 
would tend to. And then there would be special things. 

Every two or three weeks the dentist came from Marlinton, 
and the dentist did nothing except pull teeth; he didn't 
do any other kind of dental work. So that when he was 
finished, I had to go in and clean up a lot of blood all 
around, and he was apparently not a very good dentist, 
because some of the men would have pieces of tooth coming 
out of their jaws for days afterwards. And occasionally I 


had a night call with a man who was bleeding, still 
bleeding, and I had to try and pack his gum cavity with 
cotton in order to stop the bleeding. I might say in 
passing that the attitude of many of the southern hill- 
billies toward teeth was that the sooner you got rid of 
your own teeth and got false teeth the better off you were. 
Men would come in who were only in their early twenties, 
and they had no more than three or four teeth left in 
their mouths; this apparently from their diet. And if you 
could get a free set of teeth made by the government, that 
was desirable. 

GARDNER: Worth going to prison for. [laughter] 
MALTZ: Yes, men would come in and let's say they had a 
three-month sentence for their first time on whiskey, and 
they would say, "Gee, Doc, can you pull the rest of my 
teeth and get me some teeth made?" Because they knew 
about the government teeth. The doc would take an — the 
dentist would take an impression, but the teeth were made, 
I think, in Springfield, Missouri. And so the men would 
want their teeth taken out for that purpose. 

And one other job that I would have every few weeks 
was to take care of new men coming into the prison camp. 
Since they came usually from filthy jails in small southern 
towns, my most important task was to see that they took 
showers and, after they took showers, to put DDT powder on 


all their hairy parts because otherwise there might be 
an infestation of body lice in the prison. So this task 
of cleaning up the hospital, and taking care of men who 
came up, usually would take me up to the time of lunch. 
Sometimes I would be through a little before, and then I 
was free to do whatever I wished. I could go to my room 
and sit down to read the New York Times , which I got there, 
or I could take a walk if I chose, or do anything else . . . 
go to the library as long as I was in hearing distance of the 
loudspeaker, which might summon me for an emergency. And, 
oh, as soon as I was through with sick call, I would 
change to regular denims and not wear them again until the 
next morning, not wear the whites again till next morning. 
My afternoon responsibilities were usually light unless I 
had a man in one of the beds who needed tending to, as, 
for instance, someone who had a sprained back and needed 
hot packs constantly, and so on. And so the afternoon 
could be spent, generally, in a fairly leisurely way. 
After I had been there in that job only a little 
while, I saw that my time was being cut into in a very 
ridiculous way. That is to say, there would be sick call, 
and I would start doing some cleaning, and then a man 
would come up and ask me for some working pills. (That 
was the southern term for a cathartic, workin' pills.) 
And so I'd have to stop my work and wash my hands in order 


to go into the medicine chest and get him the working pills. 

And then I would start to work again, and another man 

would come up, and he might want some working pills. So 

I went to the superintendent and told him what was happening 

and said, "It isn't as though a man had a headache and 

needed aspirin to cure the headache. This is something 

that they could ask for at regular sick call in the morning, 

or if you'll let me do a sick call in the evening, they 

could do it then and not keep coming up every five, ten 

minutes for the same damn thing because they don't feel 

like coming to sick call." And so he agreed to let me 

establish an evening sick call which I held by myself, 

and I very quickly got the men to know that if they had 

any emergency they could come at any time; and if they didn't, 

they were not to come except at the two sick calls. 

I also learned very quickly that the men there had 
been accustomed to giving the medical orderly before me 
occasional bribes in order to get him to give them things. 
Otherwise, he had one device or another of putting them 
off, or saying come back later, I'm busy, or some such 
thing. Some of them would start to come with bribes to me; 
they'd offer me candy when I gave them some pills, and 
they'd offer me cigarettes. And then when I, you know, made 
clear that I wasn't going to take anything from anyone, 
it made for a changed situation in the camp in reference to 


the medical orderly. 

Like others, I learned very quickly to try and work 
at what I would call the passing laugh. For instance, 
a man would come in and ask for some aspirin, and I'd say, 
"Well, all I have today (tonight) are some secondhand 
aspirins; I don't have any firsthand." And he'd say, "That's 
all right, I'm secondhand myself." And this kind of thing 
would go on. 

During the warm months before, let's say, October, the 
evening recreation, if you wanted, was softball, and since 
I had played softball all through my years in Los Angeles, 
I went out for one of the teams. I was asked if I was 
willing to go on a team which I found out had all black men 
on it, and I said sure. And then I found that the man who 
was the leader of that team, who was in for whiskey, but 
was basically a farmer, was a most admirable man. He was 
a very powerful, illiterate, but keenly intelligent man, 
and very stern in his effort to stimulate other men toward 
what I'd call black nationalism. And one of the things 
he wanted to do was to have his team, all black, beat the 
white teams. And so, while he accepted me on the team, he 
didn't let me play. And within one game I saw that I was 
a better player than four or five men on his team, and I 
raised hell and said I wasn't going to be treated like a 
patsy, I was a better player than some of those on the 


team, and he was forced to let me play. But the games 
were not too enjoyable because, as I found out very soon in 
that area, most of the men who were in, not for whiskey 
but for crime, were in because of their own character 
failures: they were grossly neurotic men. And this was 
manifest even in baseball games because something would 
happen in a game, such as a call by an umpire that they 
felt was unfair, and they would throw down their glove, 
and they would walk away from the field and wouldn't play 
anymore. And pretty soon a game would be called off. So 
I never knew when I started a game when it would end. 

The other recreations possible were the library and, 
surprisingly, for a small prison with a small library, they 
had excellent books. I could have spent years just reading 
my way through the books that they had there. They also 
had a librarian for about three months who put all the 
books — not all the books, who put half of the books in 
upside down because, apparently, there was something wrong 
with his eyes. [laughter] And there were checkers and 
dominos, and there was chess, and I found a number of chess 
partners so that we could play that. And actually, we 
were taught a special chess game by a man who came from 
Atlanta prison (which I'm using in a short story I've 
already written the first draft of) , a game which involved 
four men and took a long time, and, of course, any game 


that took a long time was very desirable because time was 
your enemy. 

I got the New York Times , I got the New Yorker , and 
I had that reading and I had library reading, of course. 
And we would have movies usually once a week. In the summer 
months they were out of doors where all the men could see 
them at once, and when the cold weather came, we went by 
barracks to see them in the library. At first the movies 
were lousy Monogram movies which were hard to watch they 
were so bad, but later in the year we got a few good ones, 
and that was very delightful. 
GARDNER: No Maltzes? 

MALTZ: No. As a matter of fact, just after I left they 
played the little short The House I Live In , and I heard 
that from an inmate who came out later. But it didn't 
play while I was there. Would have been interesting if 
it had, yes. 

Among my friends there, because I developed cordial 
relations with quite a number of the men, there was 
Dmytryk, of course, who in general was a very pleasant man, 
very agreeable to be with, but with a certain shell of 
armor around him so that you got so close and no closer. 
And he had a gentle wit which involved something that I 
wasn't aware of at first and then perceived later, which 
was a gentle wit of putting down someone else, not in a 


harsh way, but it was nevertheless based upon putting 
someone down. And I began to learn things about him. 
I had never known him at all well; I had never known him 
well. For instance, we learned on our auto trip down 
that we both enjoyed chess, and so we said, well, let's 
play together. And from the way he talked about chess, I 
had a strong impression that he was a better player than 
I was, and I think he was. So in our first chess game I 
played with maximum attention and care, and Dmytryk with 
a certain amount of overconf idence, I think, so played that 
I beat him. I imagine if we had played more he would 
have beat me quite regularly, but the interesting thing is 
that he never played me chess again. And so that sort of 
told something about him. 

In the prison when we came there were Howard Fast 
and Professor Lyman Bradley of New York University, who 
had been chairman of the German department, and both of 
whom were on the board of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee 
Committee. Bradley, whom I had never known before, was 
a very gentle gentleman, and he was really not cut out for, 
I think, the kind of struggle that he had found himself 
in, although he had behaved with absolute honor. And I 
came to like him very much in our short time together. 
They were only to be in there for another four weeks or so. 
And Howard I had only known in passing so that this was my 


first opportunity to get to know him, and what I learned 
about him I didn't like very much. 

For instance, at one point, he asked the superintendent 
if he could make a sculpture of a little boy that would 
be put in a fountain. There was a marvelous black 
stonemason in the prison who was in on income tax, a 
middle-aged man, and the prison was using him to do all 
sorts of work that they had wanted to have done for a long 
time. And he would make a little patio near the black 
barracks, and a fountain, and this little boy that Howard 
would sculpt would be in the fountain. And the super- 
intendent gave his permission, and Howard did the sculpture 
so that the water would come out of the boy's penis. And 
this was something that was done in fountains in Europe 
and so on and very charming, and he did a very nice figure. 
And I said to him, "How can you do a thing like this?" And 
he said, "Oh, you just do it." He didn't tell me what I 
learned from Who ' s Who after I came out of prison: that he 
had been a student at the, I think, New York Academy of 
Design after high school, so evidently he had some artistic 
leanings before, or concomitant with, his beginning to 
write. And then on another occasion after prison I received 
his biography from an East German organization of Anglo- 
American literature. And I knew what that was about because 
they had asked me for my biography as well. And they 


reproduced both of them in English, and in Howard's he 
spoke of the fact that he had been born in poverty; and 
when he was a young man, he roamed the country in boxcars; 
and he carried brass knuckles and he used them. And here 
was a self-portrait of a kind of contemporary Jack London, 
which was, of course, something that delighted the East 
Germans, I'm sure, but it had nothing to do with a young 
man who had gone to the New York Academy of Design and who 
said nothing in his Who ' s Who about roaming the country as 
a hobo. So that he was telling one biography for Who's Who 
and another biography for someone else. And actually, 
when he left the Communist party, he published an article 
in the Saturday Review about his background, and there he 
told about his poverty in the same way that he had in the-- 
this was now to be an excuse for why he had joined the 
Communist party. So that with that, and with the way he 
had written about George Washington, while at the same 
time knowing his very great creative talent, I nevertheless 
was turned off about him as a person. A kind of a final 
turnoff occurred one day in the barracks when I was down 
there talking with him and with Lyman Bradley. Howard said 
to us in slow and measured tones, "You know, I've been 
giving a great deal of thought to something." [tape recorder 
turned off] Howard, in measured tones, said, "You know, 
I've been giving a great deal of thought to this matter, 


and I've come to the conclusion that I am the most 
important living American writer." 
GARDNER: At what point was this? 

MALTZ: This was in prison. And Lyman Bradley gave a kind 
of inarticulate gasp and just jumped up and bolted out of 
the barracks. [laughter] And I don't know what I said, 
but I mumbled something or other out of my astonishment 
and . . . that was Howard. 

My closest friend through most of my stay was an 
educated black man, an engineer, Arthur. We became very 
good friends and closer and closer as time went on. We 
played chess together, and the atmosphere of the prison was 
such that we could go walking together, and if there were 
comments about it behind our back, there was no trouble 
from it. But I was also very friendly with a lot of the 
other men and, of course, learned as much about them as 
I could. 

GARDNER: You talked about your being an orderly. Did 
Edward Dmytryk have anything similar to that that he did? 
MALTZ: Oh, he was in the garage. And he was sort of a 
checkout man keeping records of what trucks went out and 
how much gas was used and this kind of thing. 

The general rule for visits was that one was allowed 
two hours a month. But if you had three months of good 
work reports by your supervisor, you were given an extra 


half an hour. And I remember saying to the doc when he 
had given me a certain grade, but not the grade that would 
entitle me to the half-hour extra, "What do I have to do 
to get such-and-such a grade?" And he didn't say anything, 
but he just gave me that grade. And so I had two-and-a-half- 
hour visits every month from my wife beginning in August. 
The first time she came, she came with Jean Dmytryk, and they 
both flew to Charleston and then they hired a car and 
drove to Mill Point. They stayed overnight in Marlinton, 
and because they had not visted in July, they had four 
hours, so they visited two hours on one day and two hours 
the next day, which was permitted. 

I guess I might mention now that when I came to Mill 
Point after Washington, the first thing I did, as soon as 
I could get my hands on paper and pencil, was to write down 
all seventy pages of the notes that I had memorized. And 
since so much of this was about — since all of the notes 
were about the operation of the Washington jail and details 
about life there, and things about the inmates there, I was 
afraid that I would forget them in the months that I was going 
to be in Mill Point, and I wanted to get them out for 
a novel. This was very interesting psychologically because 
I would not have done anything . I remember, for instance, 
that at one point a man there offered me a drink of some 
booze of some sort that had been made illegally, I think in 


the kitchen, out of fermented raisins or something like 
that. I refused it although I would very much have loved 
to have had some alcohol and had myself a drunk and gone 
to sleep, let's say, if I could, or just a drink. But 
as against getting into trouble, which could have happened 
if, let's say, there was a medical emergency and they 
found that I had some whiskey smell on me, I would never 
have touched it, and I didn't touch it. I had a few other 
kooky offers of that kind, and I would have nothing to do 
with it. But when it came to getting out some material for 
a novel, I was ready to risk something for that, which is 
an interesting contradiction. And I finally decided on a 
method that I thought could work. 

I was a smoker at that time, and I was able to get 
some onion-skin paper in the doc's office. I then printed 
my notes very minutely (printing making it clearer) on the 
onion skin, so that I must have gotten perhaps twelve, 
fourteen, fifteen hundred words on a page (perhaps not 
that many, but a great many words) . Having measured this 
before, I then folded the paper in such a way that it came 
out to the exact size of the cigarettes I was smoking. And 
I rolled the paper up very tightly and then stapled it with 
Doc's stapler. Then I took a package of cigarettes, took 
out all of the cigarettes, and put in, I think, two or 
three, no more, of these rolled cigarette papers, so-called 


rolled cigarettes, in the pack, and this was something 
that went on over a period of months. I had previously 
told my wife, who didn't smoke, to come next time with 
the same type of cigarette that I was smoking. And as we 
smoked, I offered her one from my pack, and she took it; 
and then we exchanged packs, because this wasn't a porthole 
visit. We were in a room in which there were some other 
couples, and there was a guard. All I had to do was to 
keep my eye on the guard and shift the package of cigarettes 
from one lap to the other, and she was able to take them out. 
Now, if they'd been found on her, I probably would have 
lost my good time. 
GARDNER: Really. 

MALTZ: Oh, yes, I would have lost my good time, and I might 
have gotten some extra time. I certainly would have lost 
my good time and would have been transferred from Mill Point 
to a prison of a different — tighter prison. But I was 
willing to risk that. And in that way I got out all of my 
notes which were invaluable to me when I came to writing up 
the novel. 

The food at Mill Point was better than in the Washington 
jail, and I have some examples of it. There would be always 
at breakfast a little stewed fruit from a can, which was 
good. There would be cold cereal. There would be some 
blue milk and some bread, which was edible, and coffee, or 


there might be some flapjacks. For lunch there might 
be a wiener or sometimes one hamburger patty, 
which would be half-fat and a quarter bread and the 
rest meat. Or there would be a piece of fish on Friday, 
and the fish was usually edible, quite edible. There 
would be some beets and onions, bread, say some string beans 
and potatoes and some cold tea. And supper would be beans 
or fatback and kale or turnip greens, and there might be 
a cup of good soup, or there might be spaghetti, soup 
and spaghetti, beets and salad and a cabinet pudding. It 
was high on carbohydrates, of course. But I did some 
reading on nutrition and, as a result, I forced myself to 
eat the turnip greens and the kale, which may be good 
tasting in some type of cooking but weren't good there: 
the kale was like eating dry straw, but I covered it with 
vinegar to give it some taste, and I ate it down because 
it had vitamins in it that I knew I needed. And I noticed, 
in looking over some diary notes that I smuggled out, that 
one Sunday dinner there was chicken, and I wrote underneath 
that it was very tasty. So one got along on the food. I 
didn't, actually — I'll come to that later. But it was 
better than Washington, and it was okay. 

The political scene at this time was one in which 
Julius Rosenberg was arrested just as I left Washington, 
and Ethel Rosenberg [was arrested] in August. The Korean 


War, of course, was going on, and the political atmosphere . 
[tape recorder turned off] . . . the political atmosphere 
was one in which you could have the following dispatch 
to the New York Times from Hollywood. I'm quoting from 
page 130 of Cedric Belfrage's American Inquisition --no . . . 
yes, The American Inquisition : "Fear that a motion picture 
dealing with the life and exploits of Hiawatha might be 
regarded as Communist propaganda has caused Monogram Studio 
to shelve such a project. It was Hiawatha's efforts as 
a peacemaker among the warring Indian tribes of his day, 
which brought about the federation of five nations, that 
gave Monogram particular concern, according to a studio 
spokesman. These, it was decided, might cause the picture 
to be regarded as a message for peace and therefore 
helpful to present Communist designs." [laughter] You 
know, it's just beyond belief that this stuff could be 
printed this way, seriously, that people could think this 

GARDNER: That people could accept it. 

MALTZ: And people accept it. Of course there were others 
that laughed at it at that time the way we did, but laughed 
GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ: But it's symbolic of the times. Now, in September 
the McCarran Act was passed, and it ordered the establishment 
of concentration camps. And such was the temper of the 


times that not only did Senator John Kennedy vote for it 
(because at that time John Kennedy was part of the McCarthy 
atmosphere, his brother was an assistant of McCarthy) but 
Senator Humphrey voted for it, and Wayne Morse voted for it, 
and [James W. ] Fulbright voted for it. At this time also 
there was the arbitrary imposition by the State Department 
of a new passport policy that passports would not be issued 
to those individuals whose travel abroad, in the opinion 
of the department, would not be in the interests of the 
United States. 

Now, after prison I wrote a letter to Bob Kenny, which 
I had forgotten but some researchers called it to--two men 
who did some research recalled it to my mind that I wrote 
that this was the hardest year of my life, the prison year. 
And it wasn't because there was discrimination against 
us; there was in fact small and meaningless discrimination 
so far as I was concerned personally. Although 60 percent 
of the inmates were illiterates who were supposed to go 
to classes in prison, there were orders from Washington 
that neither Dmytryk nor I should be able to teach them. 
And I was not allowed to work in the library — I had hoped 
at first to be a librarian. But in terms of life in the 
camp, those men who had been in the army, as I had not, 
said that Mill Point was a lot like an army camp, but 
there was less discipline and there was less chicken shit. 


However, what made it hard were the cumulative frustrations 
of a routine that became increasingly monotonous, a life 
that was basically arid. There was separation from wife 
and children, and there was the anxiety about what would 
happen in the future that I was mentioning, and there was 
the sheer violation of one's spirit that comes from being 
locked up. The diet there did have an effect upon my 
health, and I must say that there are mysteries to nutrition 
as far as individuals are concerned. I did my best to 
eat intelligently while I was there, but I saw men who 
rejected all vegetables, who loved the fatback, which had 
nothing in it but fat pork, and who worked hard in the coal 
mine or on the farm or in the timber, cutting timber, and 
they remained perfectly well; but I came out with a 
swollen liver from malnutrition and felt quite depleted 
when I first came out. 

GARDNER: Well, it could have been just that, the fact that 
your diet had been richer before you went in, whereas theirs 
was no change in diet whatsoever. 

MALTZ: Yes, excepting why hadn't they--I mean, some of them 
ate what I would consider almost a pellagra diet, and as 
a matter of fact, some of them came up with rashes to the 
hospital, and from what I read, I thought that those might 
have been an initial pellagra rash. You know, that's a guess 
from a layman; just reading about something doesn't mean 


you know it in medical matters. But I know that I would 
recommend that they eat some of the vegetables, and yet 
others who ate the same diet didn't show that. So I just 
don' t know. 

I could, in my spare time in Mill Point, have done 
some writing, but the rule was that any writing you did 
had to be read by the superintendent. I knew that I 
couldn't work on the novel I had conceived because that 
was about prison. They would never let it out. And 
somehow, any other writing that I had had in mind was just 
not in the forefront. I had to do this prison novel or 
nothing else. And so I spent my time as pleasantly as I 
could in free time, and that meant chess and reading. I 
got along very well with the other men, and the black men 
in the jail learned very quickly that there was no discrim- 
ination in the way I dispensed services, and so I developed 
some friendships with them. Like the others, I applied for 
parole, and there were many times in which men who applied 
for parole got an answer within a few weeks. But mine 
didn't come for months, and it was a denial. Elmer Rice 
was among those who wrote to the parole board for me, but 
the members of the board said frankly to Margaret, my 
wife, when she went down there, "What's he going to do 
when he gets out? He's going to be against the Korean War, 
isn't he?" And so made it clear that, on political grounds, 


no parole would be forthcoming. 

From time to time I would get verbal communications 
from Trumbo through some man being sent to our place from 
Ashland. And things like that were small pleasures, 
[backgrond noise] Is that noise going to come out on 
the tape? 

GARDNER: I don't think so. We'll find out. 
MALTZ: Well, I can have them quieted. 
GARDNER: Well, it's almost over, anyway. 

MALTZ: My relationship with Dmytryk was a very friendly 
one. We certainly had special things in common as we did 
with no one else in the prison, and he would come to me 
to tell me that he had gotten a letter from Jean about 
what had happened to a film of his that he had made. 
GARDNER: I think this is. . . . [tape recorder turned off] 
MALTZ: I want to add something to the parole thing. I cut 
out with amusement something in June. Attorney General 
[Griffin] Bell said he would have been inclined to put 
former Attorney General John Mitchell on probation rather 
than send him to jail. Not having done that, he said, 
"I think I might have had him serve ten days or sixty days. 
That's enough." Bell told television interviewer Barbara 
Walters that Mitchell was a first offender who most likely 
would have been given probation if he had been an unknown 
bank robber. "And even the rich have rights," he said. 


"We lean over backwards, and we are a little less careful 
with the rights of the rich than the poor." Well, I'm 
thinking of that in reference to this treatment of us. 

With Dmytryk ... he revealed in a current autobio- 
graphy that in the first meeting with his wife, in which 
she came to the prison with mine, he planned a statement 
about the Korean War that he gave subsequently to Bart Crum 
in which he disassociated himself from the rest of the 
Ten. But of course, he didn't say anything to me about it. 

And a very interesting thing happened. The unnamed 
film that I had been working on, worked on before prison, 
came out, and to marvelous critical reception, and became 
a large commercial success. And it was the most natural 
thing in the world for me to want to tell someone about 
it. And whom could I tell with more assurance of trust 
than another man in jail with me? And at the last moment 
I said to myself, hey, what's the matter with you? What 
kind of immaturity is this? You just don't talk about 
these things, that's all. You don't talk about it even 
with someone in jail with you, and so I never told Dmytryk. 
But if I had, in the atmosphere of that time when he became 
an informer not too many months later, I think he would have 
ruined the careers of the man who put his name on the film, 
of the producer of the film, perhaps of an agent involved, 


and of a number of others who knew about the thing. So 
it was marvelously fortunate I didn't. 

Among the pleasures. . . . 
GARDNER: This side's out. 


DECEMBER 22, 19 7 8 

MALTZ: One of the pleasures that came in prison were 

GARDNER: Now let me just play this back to see if it 
came through. [tape recorder turned off] 
MALTZ: My wife was marvelous about writing, and almost 
invariably I received a letter every day from her. Perhaps 
other men would not have looked forward to each letter 
as much as I did mine, but that was so with me. Under 
the prison rules I could have an occasional letter from 
two friends whom I had asked if they wanted to write to 
me. One was George Sklar, and he was very faithful in 
writing and wrote lovely letters, because mostly he told 
me about his children, to whom I felt close, and he wrote 
about them in a very charming way. The other close friend, 
Michael Blankfort, wrote me only one letter, that I recall, 
in the nine months, and that was clearly a self-serving 
letter designed to tell whatever persons read it that he 
was not a radical. The letter distressed me, but there 
was nothing I could do about it. 

There were various types of small pleasures that I 
had from time to time, and some that I cultivated. For 
instance, on Lincoln's Birthday I was delighted to hear 
"The Lonesome Train" played with the words by Millard 


Lampell and music by Earl Robinson. It is a piece that 
I always had loved, and it was kind of a triumph for me 
to hear it under these circumstances. Not only was 
Earl Robinson an old friend but I was very, very fond of 
Millard Lampell and his wife Elizabeth, whom I adored. 

Another small pleasure was to run out when there were 
still some flowers along the central walk in the prison 
and to pick up those which were cut and take back two or 
three zinneas and marigolds, put them into a tin drinking 
cup in my room, throw in a couple of aspirin (which I had 
been told would prolong their life) , and so enjoy these 

Humor, laughter, was something that one always sought. 
I remember once ... I remember this kind of thing that 
went on as much as possible, as much as the inmates could 
do it. Some new men came in, and a black inmate was 
talking to a new white inmate in for whiskey who asked what 
a white patch off in the distance was, and the black man 
said that it was the graveyard. And then he explained to 
the newcomer that if a man died while in prison he was 
buried out in that graveyard until he had served his time, 
and only then could his family come and get his body and 
take him home. The newcomer was very upset about this 
and thought that this was a terrible rule and, of course, 
this became a source of great laughter. 


I am now in the process of trying to build a sort of 
memoir-story about a day, Sunday, in which I and some 
others were hurriedly piled into a truck in order to aid 
a couple of men who had crashed in a plane some miles from 
the camp. I was taken along, of course, because of being 
the medical orderly, and while I wanted to do everything 
I could for the men who were injured, there was another 
aspect to the whole day which was that we got out of the 
camp; we got to go to a town, and we got to see a few 
people other than the camp inmates. That made it a 
glorious and exciting day. 

In November 1950 Dmytryk left since he had completed 
his six-month sentence less good time, and his manner with 
me was cordial and warm; but as I know now from his auto- 
biography, he had already decided on a complete political 
split with the rest of us. 

That year, in 1950, the collection of my speeches, 
The Citizen Writer , was published and also a short story, 
"Circus Come to Town." There were a great many foreign 
reprints of my work, and my income in the year was a little 
over . . . just a second, I can't . . . [tape recorder 
turned off] . . . was a little over $4,000. 
GARDNER: Quite a drop from the previous year. 
MALTZ: Yes, yes. This was not wholly indicative, as 
you'll see, of what happened in succeeding years, because 


of foreign royalties and so on. 

During the months of 19 51 I gave increasing thought 
to the way in which I wanted to live from now on. I knew 
that I wanted surcease from the kind of intense organizational 
activity which I had accepted as part of my life from 
about 19 35 on, and which had been exaggerated in the two 
and a half years of the Hollywood case. I wanted maximum 
time for writing, and I had no interest in making further 
speeches. I also knew that if I would go back to Los 
Angeles, there would be absolutely no way in which I 
could remove myself from organizational activity because 
it would be regarded by others as an abandonment of 
responsibility and duty. And no matter what explanations 
I would try to make, and no matter what justification i 
would offer, it would still be regarded in that way by 
those who were themselves active. And I knew that the 
pressures would be enormous and that feelings would be 
involved. And so in view of the fact that there was no 
chance of going abroad, since the passport policy estab- 
lished after the beginning of the Korean War would prevent 
me from getting a passport, my thoughts turned to Mexico 
where our old friend Lini DeVries was now living. And my 
wife and I began to plan for that in our monthly meetings. 

The routine of prison life went on as I have described 
until the time came that I was to leave. I must say that 
in the weeks, and then the days, in which I was "getting 


short" (which is the prison term for coming close to 
leaving) , I became more and more tense over the question 
of whether or not I would be met at the exit from the 
prison by a couple of marshals with a hold order. 
GARDNER: Why is that? 

MALTZ: I had that on my mind because there were a number 
of inmates who had committed state crimes as well as the 
federal one for which they were in Mill Point, and they 
all said that just as they left prison there would be state 
officers there with a hold order to immediately arrest 
them and take them either for trial or to a state peniten- 
tiary. And in my case, although there was no other 
infraction in which I was involved, nevertheless there was 
my anxiety about the concentration camps and the McCarran — 
under the McCarran law. However, nothing like that happened 
to me, and it was a sign of the times that when I left, 
at about six o'clock in the morning before any of the 
other inmates were awake, the superintendent of the prison 
emerged from behind a car (parked near the taxi that had 
come for me) to shake my hand and say goodbye and wish me 
well. Now, the superintendent was a very decent man, and 
it's certain that what I would call the benign quality 
of the camp was due to him in considerable part. We had 
had several conversations during the course of the year, 
and he had also read some notes that I made which I wanted 


to take out in my hand; I thought that he would pass 
them, and he had read them and he did pass them. But 
he could have summoned me to his office the day before 
and said goodbye to me, and he didn't do that. It's my 
belief that he used the method of hiding behind a car 
in the semilight of very early morning because there 
were FBI informers on the staff of the prison camp who 
would have reported him for this. I may be wrong about 
that, but his behavior needs some explanation. 

The taxi which I had been allowed to arrange for-- 
or, no, the taxi which my wife had arranged for at her 
last visit drove me seventy miles to Charleston, West 
Virginia, where my wife was. We took a plane to St. Louis, 
where we remained overnight and the next day took another 
plane to Mexico City. 

I think I might mention now that there were two 
hangovers that prison left me with, and they were not what 
people would have guessed. For instance, some people in 
later years very delicately asked me if I would mind speaking 
about, telling, answering some questions about prison as 
though they were asking me about something that would 
churn up so much feeling that I would be convulsed with 
pain. Well, it was nothing like that at all. It was 
perfectly comfortable for me to talk about it as about 
any other experience I had had. It gave me no turn 


whatsoever to see a prison scene in a movie, and so on. 
But even though I wore blue jeans in the years before 
prison as an ordinary working garment, I have been unable 
to put on blue jeans since. It's a most curious hangup. 
I've tried to, but when I start to put my leg through one 
of them, I get just a bad feeling. It's not logical, 
but that's my reaction, and I've never worn a pair of blue 
jeans since. 

And the second reaction was perfectly fascinating. 
In 1972 it was necessary for me to have a pacemaker, and 
I was in intensive care in the hospital for several days 
after the surgery. During that time my motion was severely 
limited because I was hooked up to a cardiac monitor and it 
was not possible for me to get out of bed or to turn very 
much. And my wife Esther visiting me every day, being with 
me all day, actually, was under the impression that I 
was depressed. I wasn't aware of this. But she definitely 
thought so. And at my very first meal at home I commented — 
without any thought except for what I was saying — "This 
is better food than I got in that jail," and I didn't even 
realize I had used the word jail until my wife pointed it 
out to me. And the next day, referring to the man who had 
been in the room with me after I was moved out of intensive 
care, I said, "You know, my cellmate was a pretty nice guy." 
And once again I didn't realize that I had used the word 


cellmate , so it's quite clear that the "imprisonment" of 

intensive care had thrown me back into prison. 

GARDNER: And that you were affected much more subconsciously 

than you realized. 

MALTZ: I suppose . . . although I don't feel it in other 

ways. Amusing, isn't it? 


MALTZ: We only stayed overnight in Mexico City, and then 

we moved right down to Cuernavaca where our friend Lini was 

living. I want to pause now and tell a little of what 

happened to her since the occasion when I traveled with her 

in New Mexico into the villages where she was acting as 

public health nurse. 

She remained in that job for several more years, and 
then she became head of public health nursing in Puerto Rico 
for several years, and from that job she moved to being 
chief nurse in a very large venereal disease clinic in 
Chicago where a major effort was under way to carry out 
a campaign of education on the VD problem. And from that 
job she moved to be head of public health care for the 
Mexican crop workers who came to California during World 
War II in order to do harvesting. They came by arrangement 
between the U.S. government and the Mexican government, 
and there were stipulations in it about the conditions under 
which they would live and these involved health care. And 


Lini was in charge of all of the services involved in that 
from the nursing point of view, and inspection of conditions 
and so on. 

But when the war was over and when, finally, enough 
soldiers came home so that this arrangement with the 
Mexican government came to an end, her job came to an end, 
and by that time the inquisition had begun, the political 
inquisition had begun, and she was named by Elizabeth 
Bentley as a Communist. And from then on it became 
impossible for her to hold any of the government jobs that 
she once had held. Nursing in a hospital was now too hard 
for her physically, and she finally had a job for some months 
as the nurse in an old-age home; but the FBI caught up with 
her there by speaking to the superintendent, and she was 
fired from that. 

At that point, with a three-year-old daughter and a 
divorced husband who provided no support, she decided to 
try and make a new life for herself in Mexico, and she went 
there. She had had contact with a very well-known Spanish 
refugee, a woman whose husband had been one of the top 
officers of the Spanish Republican air force. She was now 
living in Cuernavaca and running a textile business, and 
Lini went down to live with her and to help her in the 
management of her home. 

But by the time we came to Mexico, Lini was no longer 
living with that woman, who had tragically been killed in 


an automobile accident. She was now in a small apartment 
in a suburb of Cuernavaca, earning a precarious living 
by giving English lessons. Lini had rented a house for us 
on a temporary basis, with our prior agreement, of course, 
and it turned out to be the home in which German political 
refugees, who had been in the United States but who had 
had to leave the United States at the outbreak of war, 
had used as a rest home. I don't know if I stated that 
clearly. I prefer to state it over again. Various of 
the German refugees in the United States such as some I 
have mentioned — Andre Simone . . . well, he was Czech-- 
Andre Simone, the novelist, Anna Seghers, and many others, 
had not been permitted to remain in the United States 
once we went to war with Germany. They had accordingly 
gone to Mexico and lived there. And they were able to 
rent a large home in Cuernavaca as a kind of weekend place, 
as a rest home for their group. By the time we came in 
19 51, all of them had returned to Europe, to their various 
countries, and so we by accident moved into the same 
house. It was a very spacious house, old and poorly 
built and, for some reason, had tinted windows on its 
second floor so that it looked as though it were a whorehouse, 
But it provided adequate space for us, and it had a big 
lawn and and unheated swimming pool. 


I arrived in Cuernavaca not feeling too well and was 
at once introduced to a local doctor, an Austrian by birth, 
Ernesto Amann. He had been a volunteer to the Republican 
side in the civil war in Spain, and had married a Spanish 
woman, Pilar, and then had been one of the many Spanish 
refugees from the war, from the Republican side, who were 
admitted by the Mexican government. He was practicing 
medicine in Cuernavaca. He found that I had an enlarged 
liver due, he felt, to inadequate nutrition in prison, and 
he put me on a high-protein diet and gave me shots, and 
within a matter of weeks, I believe, I began to feel better, 

I began almost at once to dictate notes on life in 
Mill Point and on the characters in Mill Point because I 
wanted to have a permanent file on this. The notes I had 
put on cigarette papers had already been typed out by a 
secretary my wife had hired, and as soon as I completed 
these notes, which took several weeks, I began to plan the 
novel for which I already had a title of A Long Day in a 
Short Life . 

The second round of hearings of alleged communism in 
the film industry opened just as I arrived in Mexico. 
Dore Schary and the producers who had come to speak to 
the Writers Guild two and a half, now three and a half 
years before, had said, "Give us these ten men, and we 
will promise you that no one else will be blacklisted." 


Well, now the blacklisting was ready to start in earnest. 
In March Larry Parks had appeared before the House Committee 
with his impotent plea that they not force him to drag 
himself through the mud, and now starting in early April 
there came a parade of informers. One of the first was 
the most interesting, Sterling Hayden, the actor, because 
in the sixties he published a book called Wanderer in which 
he flagellated himself for having been an informer. Edward 
Dmytryk appeared, and I have always had this theory about 
Dmytryk and have found no reason to change my mind: I think 
that if he had been allowed to go to Europe to make films, 
he would have done so and merely would have been quiet 
politically. But since the passport policy prevented him 
from doing that, he just made a cold decision that he was 
going to work no matter what was involved in his doing so. 
And so he became an informer. So also did Richard Collins, 
who had been one of the Hollywood Nineteen, and Marc 
Lawrence, the actor, and Frank Tuttle, the director of 
This Gun for Hire , the first man I worked with in Hollywood, 
and Budd Schulberg. 

Now, it has always been very interesting to me that 
various individuals sought to find justification for becoming 
informers [pause in tape] by blaming the Communist party 
for something it did. For instance, in Schulberg's case, 
he was angry that members of the Communist party had asserted 


that his novel What Makes Sammy Run was anti-Semitic. 
And in Dmytryk's case, he always repeated that some members 
of the Communist party had wanted him to change the way 
he had made his film Cornered . But no matter what the 
Communist party's sins were, even if they had been magnified 
a hundred times in the case of each one of these individuals, 
it would not have explained why they were cooperating 
with a committee that was trying to promote thought control 
in the United States. And this is what is so often missed 
in any discussion of the testimony of people before that 
committee. The real issue, for instance, was never whether 
people were going to state whether or not they had been 
Communists; the issue was whether or not they were going to 
accept the committee's right to inquire into the political 
thinking and the political activity of citizens. Now, 
as against these friendly witnesses to the committee, a 
whole host of individuals I had known and, in some cases, 
been very friendly with stood up against the committee: 
for instance, in this early April period Leonardo Bercovici, 
John Bright, Paul Jarrico, Abe Polonsky, Waldo Salt (who had 
been one of the Nineteen) , John Wexley, Jay Gorney, Karen 
Morley, Lloyd Gough, Howard Da Silva (who had acted in 
several of my plays), Ann Revere, Lionel Stander, Gale 
Sondergaard, Robert Lees, and Will Geer (who had been going 
around with Ann Revere playing the radio play of The Journey 
of Simon McKeever) . 


GARDNER: How did you hear about that? How did you follow 

this through. . . ? 

MALTZ: Well, I got the New York Times . 

GARDNER: Did you also have correspondents here? Did 

George Sklar, for example . . . 

MALTZ: Oh, yes, I corresponded . . . 

GARDNER: . . . keep you in touch? 

MALTZ: ... I corresponded with friends once I was out, 

indeed. But we got the New York Times every day, a couple 

of days late down in Cuernavaca, of course, some days 

late, and I shortly, I think, subscribed to an airmail 

edition of the New York Times so would get it in a couple of 

days. And, you know, [I] very soon subscribed to a whole 

list of periodicals — did I use the Spanish word then? 


MALTZ: Yes, I started to think in Spanish. [laughter] And 

so there was no problem. 

Now, I'd like to pause just a moment and comment on the 
Fifth Amendment. None of those who opposed the committee 
in this second round of hearings stood on the First Amendment 
as we in the Ten had done, and for very good reason. 
There was no point in quixotically taking a position that 
would result in jail and would not result, in the present, 
in that atmosphere, in any possible court reversal. Now, 
in all of the years in which there were individuals who 


protected themselves by the use of the Fifth Amendment 
before this committee and other committees, the members 
of the committees and various people in the media tried 
to say that they were hiding behind the Fifth Amendment. 
They tried to make the Fifth Amendment something dirty. 
And they tried to make it an automatic confession of guilt. 
This was an extraordinary perversion of the meaning of the 
Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and the reason why our 
forefathers had included it. 

The Fifth Amendment had come into existence as a means 
of protecting citizens against the potential tyranny of the 
state. Our founding fathers had very much in mind certain 
events in England in which Catholics, for instance, were 
forced to testify by a Protestant government about their 
religious beliefs, and were then punished for having them. 
Therefore they gave (in the Fifth Amendment) all citizens 
the right to decline to answer questions under oath on the 
ground that it might incriminate or degrade them. And the 
real purpose of the Fifth Amendment was to compel the state 
to make a case and not to coerce an individual to make a 
case against himself. 

But that's precisely what the House Committee on 
Un-American Activities was trying to do: it was trying to 
degrade people, to cause them to lose their jobs even though 
they had committed no breach of the law for which they 


could be legitimately prosecuted. And with the exception 
of some individuals like Alexander Meikeljohn and Carey 
McWilliams and Telford Taylor and Walter Gellhorn of the 
Columbia Law School and Tom Emerson of the Yale Law School 
and Henry Steele Commager of Columbia Universi ty--with the 
exception of such individuals, every one in the media 
expressed tremendous disdain and contempt for those who 
took the Fifth Amendment. This was an enormous perversion 
of the democratic process, and the very fact of saying that 
any part of the Constitution, or any one of the consti- 
tutional guarantees to citizens, was something that a 
citizen should not use was a perversion. 

Returning now to myself, my children came down to 
Cuernavaca very soon after our arrival with their aunt, 
Katherine Larkin. And since there was no school adequate 
for my son, we made an arrangement with Lini for tutoring, 
and Kathy went to a bilingual school run by a German 
refugee couple. 

Very soon after I arrived in Cuernavaca I was 
surprised to have a phone call--no, not a phone call, I 
was surprised to get a letter or a telegram from Frank 
Ross, the producer of The Robe , who was in Mexico City. 
This film had not yet been made because, as I believe I 
may have mentioned earlier, Howard Hughes had become head 
of RKO and he had refused, not only to make it there, but 


had not allowed Frank Ross to take it somewhere else-- 
a fine example of the capriciousness of enormous wealth. 
But now someone else was at the head of the studio, and 
Ross had been given leave to take the script elsewhere, 
and he wanted to see me. I can only assume at this late 
date that I had written my agent upon my coming out of 
jail and he had gotten the address from her. He came to 
Cuernavaca and told me that he had a deal with Darryl 
Zanuck at Fox, Twentieth Century-Fox, for the production 
of The Robe (and he had now been trying to get this project 
done for about eight years) . My name on the script was now 
the only thing that stood in the way of its being done. 
I told him at once that I would not stand in the way but 
I of course was not happy at the . . . [tape recorder 
turned off] ... I was not happy with the fact that my 
name was going to be taken off. . . . 


DECEMBER 22, 1978 

MALTZ: I was not happy with the fact that my name was 
going to be taken off the script . . . and, oh, well, taken 
off the script — that's the end of that sentence. It so 
happens that a year later the Writers Guild, the Screen 
Writers Guild, gave producers the right to take names 
off scripts if someone had appeared before the committee 
and had not cooperated. But at this time there was no 
such right. I made clear to Frank Ross that I felt that 
I should be recompensed in part by something financial, but 
I left it up to him as to what that would be, and he 
responded with a letter after he got back to Los Angeles 
giving me 2h percent of his profits from the film, and those 
proved to be very substantial later on. 

In the May 10 edition of the Saturday Evening Post 
an article appeared called "What Makes a Hollywood 
Communist" by Richard English. English was both a screen- 
writer and a journalist, and it was all based on Edward 
Dmytryk and a phony portrait of what he was, and when 
and how he had joined the Communist party and so on. It 
so happened that I was able to write a commentary on this, 
exposing every lie in it, and I could do that without 
reference to any documents. For instance, he claimed that 
he was completely on the outs with the other members of the 


Ten by a certain date. Well, more or less after that 
date--not more or less, but it was after that date that 
I was best man at his wedding. And since this was a matter 
of public record, there was no way he could get around it. 
There were any number of such things. I wrote my commentary 
and sent it up to Herbert Biberman, and he went down to 
the Hollywood Reporter --oh, I had arranged, in sending it 
to Herbert, I had arranged with Herbert that I would pay the 
cost if he could get it into one of the Hollywood trade 
papers as an advertisement since I knew that the Saturday 
Evening Post would never publish my response. And Herbert 
went to Variety and they rejected it. But then he went to 
the Hollywood Reporter and said that he wanted to place this 
as an ad, and it was accepted and appeared on the twenty-ninth 
of May. It can now be found on page 400 of Thirty Years 
of Treason by Eric Bentley. (It is not listed in the chapter 
headings.) It's quite evident that my comments were very 
upsetting to the people backing Dmytryk because there was 
a reply in the Hollywood Reporter on June 6 that was 
entitled "You Can Be Free Men Again!" and it was signed by 
Ronald Reagan, Roy Brewer, and others. And there was 
another article by Victor Lasky, a commentator in the 
New Leader , on August 6 about it. And finally, in Dmytryk 's 
autobiography published this year, 1978, he refers to this 
and says that the Communist party selected me to be the 


hatchet man after he'd testified because I had been his 
best man and because I had been in prison with him. He 
then says that my comments were half-truths and distortions, 
and that's all he has to say about it. By the way, I 
have found this with Blankfort, too: whenever you nail 
somebody, their only response is that you ripped things 
out of context, you had half-truths and distortions, 
and that's all they say. [laughter] They never give 
an illustration. 

It was fairly early in my stay in Cuernavaca that 
somebody introduced me to David, well, that's David 
[Alfaro] Siqueiros. And I remember we stood around on 
some plaza in Cuernavaca talking for about an hour. 
Siqueiros spoke excellent English. That was about the 
longest conversation we had until a few weeks before 
he went to jail some years later, because I purposefully 
stayed away from Siqueiros. He was a very active, very 
prominent member of the Mexican Communist party, and it 
was Mexican law that foreigners not get involved in 
Mexican politics. I had no desire to be involved, and 
it would have been foolish from every point of view 
for me to try to lead any kind of a political life as 
a foreigner in that country. But I knew that if I were 
seen enough in his company that conclusions would be 
drawn by the Mexican government about it. 


I remember something that was a fascinating little 
insight on Mexico. On one occasion that summer, when my 
wife and I were in Mexico City on some business, we were 
invited to a special comida, eating about 2:30 in the 
afternoon in the open air in a beautiful garden in a 
district called the Pedregal. Now, this was a dinner 
attended by perhaps 100 people, and it was to signalize 
a renewal of the friendship between Siqueiros and Diego 
Rivera. I would imagine that their break had occurred quite 
some years before, when Diego Rivera had espoused the cause 
of Leon Trotsky, who was a refugee in Mexico for some 
years, and Rivera helped him financially. At that time 
Rivera was expelled from the Communist party of Mexico, 
and I'm sure that he and Siqueiros broke off personal rela- 
tions. Subsequently Siqueiros led a small group of men in 
an attempt to assassinate Trotsky. The attempt was 
a failure, and Siqueiros fled from Mexico for several 
years and lived in a South American country. Siqueiros, 
by the way, was the most political of all of the great 
Mexican painters. For a certain period he was secretary 
of the Mexican Communist party. He went to Spain as a 
volunteer in the Mexican brigade in the civil war, and 
I have an idea that the amount of painting he did would 
always increase whenever he was in jail because he would 
have more time for it. But now Leon Trotsky had been 
dead for some years, murdered by an agent of Stalin's, 


and Rivera had been attempting to get back into the 
Communist party. He had been saying openly that he wanted 
to be readmitted, and this formal reunion between Siqueiros 
and Rivera was a very early harbinger of Rivera's readmit- 
tance, although it didn't in fact take place for some 

All of this is preface to the fact that at the end 
of the dinner Siqueiros and Rivera shook hands, and both 
jumped to their feet and pulled pistols out of their 
pockets and shot into the air. Now, Rivera's pistol, 
it so happens, didn't go off, which made it funny, but 
that brings me to the real point of this story, which is 
that in Mexico at that time the number of men of all classes 
who carried weapons was enormous. The reason for this was 
that the Mexican revolution had lasted ten years, and 
there were a great many people still alive who had lived 
through those years and many men who had fought through 
those years. They had carried weapons for so long that 
it was a matter of habit and comfort to them to continue 
to carry weapons . 

For instance, a friend of mine was driving on a country 
road when all traffic was blocked by a boulder that had 
fallen from a mountain. It was a hot day, and half a dozen 
men got out of their cars to push the boulder, and all 
of them were wearing pistols strapped around their waists. 


And this being a habit with the older generation, it was 
passed on to some of the younger ones so that, for instance, 
at a time when there was a party in my house for my daughter 
at the age of fifteen (which was the time in which such 
parties are held in Mexico) , a quarrel began between a 
young Mexican college student, university student, and a 
young American university student, and in our crowded living 
room full of dancers the young Mexican pulled a pistol. 
Now, this never would have happened among college youths 
in the United States, but there it was not unusual. 

At this time, Herbert Biberman got in touch with me 
and said that he was raising money to do an independent film 
and asked me if I would write it. And I told him that no, 
I wanted to concentrate on fiction, and I was already at 
work on a novel. 

The broad political scene at this time was one in which 
the Korean War was going on with all of the alarms that 
surrounded it, and the international tensions. The first 
group of Communist party leaders who had been arrested 
several years before went to jail at this time after their 
appeals were turned down, and all sorts of trials and 
hearings were going on, and two days after I left prison 
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were sentenced to death by 
Judge [Irving] Kaufman. Dashiell Hammett and Frederick 
Vanderbilt Field entered prison for reasons I've mentioned 


earlier, and the American scene was a total nightmare. 
I can only again refer scholars to the Belfrage book. 

Rather early in the summer of 1951, we were introduced 
to Herman Wouk and his wife at some party to which we were 
invited. He took occasion on that evening, in rather 
gratuitous fashion, to make sure that any FBI informants 
who were at the party knew that he disagreed with my 
political position. And I didn't blame him for doing 
that because he had no prior knowledge, I'm sure, that I 
was going to be there, and he wanted to make clear that 
he wasn't of my political stripe. By coincidence, the 
Wouks rented a home about fifty yards away from mine, and 
it turned out that a young son of about five, I think, 
perhaps even just of four, whose name was Abram, was going 
to attend the same school in which our daughter Kathy was 
going. And since Wouk didn't have an automobile and we 
did by that time, an arrangement was made through Lini, 
who was the next-door neighbor to the Wouks, for Abram to 
be brought to our house in the morning by a maid, and then 
he was taken to school by my wife. Abram was a remarkable 
little boy, very handsome, and with an amazing articulateness 
very rare in a child of that age. He must have had a very 
high IQ, and I recall that I welcomed his appearance every 
morning because he was so attractive a little personality. 

In the course of the next weeks there would be days 
in which it might be chilly and I wouldn't go for a swim, 


but I would take a walk. On one or two occasions Herman 
Wouk joined me, and we walked a little together. And, 
as a result of this, we invited him and his wife to 
dinner. About half an hour before dinner he came around in 
a rather agitated state and, I believe, said that his 
wife was not well, and so they didn't come. But a few 
days later, when I was swimming, Wouk came over and sat 
down on the edge of the pool, and we had a conversation for 
perhaps half an hour as I paddled and swam around, talking 
about various things associated with the writing business. 
I had not yet read The Caine Mutiny , but I knew that it 
was on the best-seller lists and rising to be number one, 
and it was a very pleasant conversation. During the course 
of it, Wouk asked me if there had been drownings of children 
in Hollywood due to the presence of swimming pools, and I 
said there had been. And he told me that he was arguing, 
talking with the landlord about putting a fence up around 
the pool, and there was a question of whether the landlord 
should pay for it or he should pay for it. 

The next morning, just after I had gotten dressed, 
Wouk dripping with water, came running to the front of the 
house and shouted, asking whether I knew anything about 
resuscitation, and I said I did, and ran with him back 
to his home. His child Abram had been — He had pulled his 
child out of the pool. The child had been left with a maid 


while they were getting dressed for breakfast, and he 
evidently had a small boat that they had given him. The 
maid got involved in talking with some young man over a 
fence, and presumably the child sat on the edge of the pool 
with the boat and reached for it and fell in. Now, in 
Cuernavaca a type of disinfectant was used for pools which 
was not like the chlorine here: it turned the water a deep 
opaque blue, and there was no knowing what was below the 
surface. So that when the child was missed, Herman finally, 
thinking it might be the pool, had jumped in and had had 
to swim backwards and forwards underwater until he encoun- 
tered the child's body. Lini was already trying the 
methods then in use at resuscitation, and I took over. 
And people rapidly gathered so that the whole, say, English- 
speaking community, although some were of German origin, 
and all different types of people gathered; no matter what 
their personal differences, everyone centered on the hope 
that this child could be brought to. 

Now, I had read in my first-aid book in prison that 
hope should not be given up for a drowned person until 
about four hours of efforts had been made at resuscitation, 
and so I had that in my mind. And we kept that up for 
hour after hour even though Dr. Ernesto Amann came around 
after about an hour and gave the boy a shot in the heart, 
and then whispered to me that there was nothing to be done. 


But I had this compulsive need not to quit before the four 
hours were over. Of course, I couldn't remain on my knees 
all that time; others took my place and so on. But there 
was no-- The child was dead. And I knew, of course, that 
Wouk would have cut off both his arms rather than delay 
having a fence put in because he was discussing with the 
landlord who should pay for it. It was the kind of thing 
that must have provided enormous guilt for him because 
he loved this child certainly as much as any father ever 
loved a child. And his wife was stricken. It was very 
fortunate for both of them that she was pregnant at the 
time as I recall and ... or did she have a. . . ? I 
think she was pregnant . . . not about to have another . . . 
without a little one. I forget whether there was a little 
one already, or she was pregnant. But then, at their request, 
I spent the next several days with Herman trying to occupy 
his time and doing things like opening letters and telegrams 
for him, because this death had occurred on a Friday, 
Friday morning, and on Saturday Wouk, who was a very 
orthodox Jew, could not open a telegram or anything like 
that. They left on a Monday, and that was the last time 
I've ever seen him. Just pause for a moment. [tape recorder 
turned off] 

Living in Cuernavaca at this time was the author 
Willard Motley whose novel Knock on Any Door had been a 


best-seller. I never met him, and at a certain point this 
was deliberate on my part for reasons that will be clear. 
An incident occurred in which Motley and some friends were 
seated on the veranda of an old hotel in Cuernavaca called 
the Bella Vista. This was a hotel in which various cele- 
brated events had occurred, and although there were few 
people who used it now as a hotel, it was a fairly favorite 
drinking spot for people. And on the veranda one night 
when Motley and some friends were there, there was a woman, 
an American woman, who was there on vacation and who 
was a scientist and wanted to be sure that she would get 
a passport. Now, she had been one of those who had come 
around when Abram Wouk died. And she and her husband 
had been to our home for dinner, and we had taken her 
children swimming on a number of occasions at different 
spots. But now she had run into some trouble in getting 
a passport, for reasons I know nothing about, and this 
time she was having a drink on the hotel veranda with some 
man she knew who was a Texan. The Texan had begun to make 
nasty remarks about Motley because Motley was black, and 
then had demanded of the proprietor that he not allow 
Motley and the others to be on the veranda with him. And 
the proprietor had replied, "This is Mexico, not the United 
States, and anybody who wants to drink here has the right 
to do it. If you don't like it, you can leave." And so the 


Texan and this woman left. This incident made Motley and 
his friends so excited and pleased that they proceeded 
to get very drunk, from the reports I had, and to sing 
various songs that came to their mind, including the 
communist song "The International." I have no reason to 
think that Motley had anything to do with the Communist 
movement, but the song was one that was well known, and so, 
out of a kind of defiance, they had sung that as well as, 
I suppose, "The Marseillaise" and so on. But it was noted 
that this song had been sung. And I subsequently heard 
that this woman scientist had become friends with a member 
of the American embassy. 

And then a series of three articles appeared in the most 
important Mexican newspaper, Excelsior , calling for the 
deportation of the American Communists who were now agitating 
in Mexico and in Cuernavaca, and linking me and Motley, and 
saying that I was at a party at his house (to which I had 
not gone), and, I believe, linking me to the event on the 
porch, the singing of "The International." I am no longer 
able to find those articles. This was very uncomfortable 
especially because at this time we were trying to change 
our status from that of tourists to that called inmigrante , 
which is the equivalent of immigrant. Our sole reason for 
wanting to change the status was that tourists could only 
stay in Mexico for six months, and then if they wished to 


stay longer, they had to leave the country and get a new 
tourist visa and come back in. This would mean that we 
would have to go up to Texas or go south to Guatemala. 
It would be a nuisance, it would involve taking our 
children, it would be costly. And the status of inmigrante 
would allow us, by posting a certain sum of money, to 
assure the government that we would not become public 
charges, would allow us to avoid these trips. 

I had been introduced to a very fine man who was an 
attorney, Benito Noyola, and he was seeking to get this 
new status for us. (I might mention in passing that in 
Mexico the colloquial word for an attorney is coyote 
because so many of them indeed are unscrupulous in the 
way they will try to milk money out of any client. Not 
only that, but in Mexico—moreover in Mexico, practically 
omnipresent in dealings with the government is the giving 
of bribes which are called "bites," in Spanish morditas . 
The word for attorney in Mexico is licenciado , and I can 
only refer to him as Licenciado Noyola.) Not only was he 
absolutely honest in all of his dealings with clients 
but he refused to give a bribe to anyone. And he said, 
"I don't believe in it. I believe it's corrupting for the 
government, and I don't do it. And we will manage without 
it." The fascinating thing was that he always did manage 
without it, he was such a respected man. 


Now, at one point he asked me to go to the American 
embassy and get a certificate of citizenship, that it was 
wanted by the Mexican government. And I went to the 
embassy, and I had some war bonds that I had purchased that 
I wanted to turn in because they had matured, and I showed 
the young lady my passport, which was an old one, an out-of- 
date one, but I asked for a certificate of citizenship. And 
because she was very busy she asked if I could come back 
a little later in the day when she would have typed out 
the numbers of all the bonds and fixed up the papers she 
had to. I said I would. When I came back, she gave me 
the proper papers for cashing the bonds and then said that 
the consul would like to see me. I was ushered into an 
office where the, I believe, consul or some official said 
to me that the woman who had attended to me in the morning 
had not known who I was and that they were not going to 
give me a certificate of citizenship. And I got very 
angry and asked whether he was trying to tell me that I was 
not a citizen. And he said, "No. But the State Department 
is not interested in facilitating your residence in a 
foreign country." He then asked me for my passport and, 
with the passport in a briefcase under my arm, I said I 
didn't have it, that it was with my lawyer. And we had a 
few more words and I left. I told this to my attorney, and 
he said, "Well, we'll do the best we can." And I think 


we had an--I know we had, yes, an appointment for the 
very next morning at the Department of Interior, which 
opened at eight o'clock, and he said that we should be 
there at eight o'clock in the morning, before the American 
embassy could do anything, so that we could take our 
next step in getting the papers. Now, I don't know whether 
it was exactly that night — I think, no, I think it was a 
few days earlier that a most extraordinary coincidence 

My wife and I had been taking a walk in the evening, 
and we passed a bookshop, and there in the window of the 
bookshop were about ten copies of my novel The Cross and 
the Arrow in its Argentinian edition. The edition had 
been published in Argentina a few years before, and how 
they happened to be in this bookshop in Mexico City, and 
why the owner of the bookshop had put it into the window 
I never found out because at that time I couldn't talk 
Spanish well enough. But we went there the next morning, 
and I bought about fifteen to twenty copies of the book 
(I think all that he had) because I felt that it might be 
of some value to me. 

And the very next morning, when we went to the office 
of the Department of Interior, we saw on the wall, as we 
were waiting to be dealt with by a clerk, a note that said 
in effect: if Albert Maltz comes in, please notify the 


American embassy . . . please call the American embassy. 
Which meant that the consul had hot- footed down to the 
Department of Interior the afternoon before in order to 
post this note. So we immediately left. 

But I subsequently got my status because my attorney 
went about it in another way: he didn't give bribes but 
he did use the fact that, as a former attorney in 
the Department of Energy, I think, in hydraulics and 
energy, he went around introducing me to various officials 
in the government, several of whom later became presidents 
of Mexico, and giving them autographed copies of my novel. 
There is in Mexico great respect for people of the arts. 
For instance, I learned as I was learning Spanish that 
I was not to tell people I was a writer because that meant 
that I was a journalist: I was to say I was an author 
because that was the word that was used. And introducing 
me also as one of the Hollywood Ten was a factor that gave 
me sympathy in Mexico. 

GARDNER: The nature of political exile. 

MALTZ: Yes, that's right. There's a whole tradition of 
political exile in Latin America. I recall now that he 
also had me write out a statement in which I explained 
why I had taken the position that I had, and why I was 
living in Mexico. And I got the inmigrante status which 
was one that lasted for five years; and then, afterwards, 


I got the status above that, which was— I forget the name 
now [ inmigrado ] , but it not only carried the previous 
privileges but it allowed me to work in Mexico and allowed 
me, with proper permission, to own property. 

In September 19 51 there were again a series of 
hearings on Hollywood by the House Committee, and, at 
this time, blacklisting was also spreading all over the 
country in every possible area of work and life. 

Among our friends in Cuernavaca at this time was 
a Hungarian couple, the man's pen name, by which he was 
known, was John Pen; His real name was Szekely. His wife, 
Elizabeth, had a nickname that I'll inevitably refer to, 
Erzi, and a daughter, Kathy, who was a friend of my 
daughter's. Pen's best work, perhaps, was called Temptation , 
He had also received an Academy award for an original film 
story. He and his wife and daughter came to be people I 
was very, very fond of. Then there were Gordon Kahn, 
author of The Hollywood Ten ,* who was living there, and 
his wife Barbara, and the Austrian doctor Ernesto Amann, 
and a miscellany of other people. 

A good deal of my novel was written by the end of 
1951. I had expected it to pour out of me--and so it seemed 
to come. I did interrupt the novel to write one piece 
for Mainstream (the successor to — well, first there 

'Actually entitled Hollywood on Trial , 


was New Masses , and then there was Masses and Mainstream , 
and now it was Mainstream ) called "The Whiskey Men," and 
this was a presentation of the economics and sociology 
of the business of making moonshine liquor, which actually 
involves a vast number of people when you include those 
who drink it and those who try and catch the moonshiners, 
and the whole administration of justice in this. 

In this year my foreign publication abroad was in 
some ten countries, with the first publication in China. 
And my earnings were a little under $3,600; so I was right 
back to where I was when I decided to move to Hollywood. 


DECEMBER 22, 19 78 

MALTZ: [tape inaudible up to this point] Odets had given 
me $1,000 for the Hollywood Ten case, and later, after we came 
out of jail he had given the principal speech at the funeral 
services, or the memorial service, for Joe Bromberg, who 
had been a member of the Group Theatre with him for 
years. And yet about six months after doing this, he 
himself became an informer at a committee hearing and named 
Bromberg. His behavior was especially peculiar because 
there was a meeting--there was a gathering at someone's 
home, or a gathering, I think, at Odets' s apartment the 
night he came back from Washington, and everyone there 
assumed that he had defied the committee. There was a very 
rolicking evening apparently, and people drinking and 
congratulating him, and the party lasted until early in 
the morning,- and lategoers, those late in leaving the 
party, saw early copies of the New York Times in the lobby 
of the apartment house and saw that he had named them 
before the committee. It's a perfectly incredible piece 
of behavior. I have other stories about him, but I'll 
push on. 

Something that both fascinated and angered me was 
the. . . . [tape recorder turned off] In April 1952 
Edward G. Robinson appeared before the committee. Now, 


he had had rather a proud history, I feel, of supporting 

worthwhile humane causes. And I have already stated the 

extent of my involvement with him, which amounted to 

writing several speeches for him, but nothing political. 

Yet, in his testimony the following occurred. [Francis E.] 

Walter of the committee said, "Mr. Robinson, you stated 

that you were duped and used. By whom?" 

Robinson: By the sinister forces who were members 

and probably in important positions in those 

organizations . 

Walter: Well, tell us what individuals you have 

reference to. 

Robinson: Well, you had Albert Maltz, and 

you have Dalton Trumbo and you have--what is 

the other fellow, the top fellow who they 

say is the commissar out there? 

Walter: John Howard Lawson? 

Robinson: Yes, John Howard Lawson. 

And so this is the way in which he bought back from the 
committee his right to continue to perform as an actor. 
In late February the conviction of the Rosenbergs 
was upheld by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And 
I sent a letter out to about five of the most prominent 
nuclear scientists in the United States. The only one 
I had ever met was Philip Morrison, but I sent it also 
to Harold Urey, and to I. [Isidor] Rabi at their universities 
and to two others whom I forget at the moment. And what 
I said, in effect, was this: I said that appearing—that 
Harold Urey had stated that it would take about ninety 
volumes to put down all of the material needed for the 


manufacture of an atomic weapon. And I said if that's 
the case, how could the Rosenbergs be guilty of giving the 
Soviet Union the knowledge of how to make the atomic 
weapon, and if they couldn't have done that, why should 
they die? And will you, as an atomic scientist, speak out 
on this? I never heard — the only one I ever heard from 
was Urey. And he wrote to me that what he had said was 
perfectly true; nevertheless there were certain concepts 
that perhaps could be very important if transmitted. But 
later he became extremely active in trying to save the 
Rosenbergs, and I have never known whether my letter had 
played any part in it. I hope that it had. 
GARDNER: Will you excuse me? [tape recorder turned off] 
MALTZ: As I listened to the comments of friends on my 
first version of my novel, I decided that I'd been too 
documentary in my approach. I was so close to all of the 
prison material, and it was all so interesting in itself, 
that I had used it and obscured the central story. So I 
sat down and revised the concept and went to work on a 
new draft. 

The blacklist freeze in the studios was now absolutely 
solid, and there was no way whatsoever in which any of 
the blacklisted people could write anything for a major 
studio. Some of them did succeed in writing for independents 
like the King Brothers. And in existence now was the 


"graylist" on which someone like Howard Koch was. Just 
because somebody had been mentioned, or had been mentioned 
by error, or whose name was like the name of someone who 
was mentioned, people were on a list of which they were 
not aware. They were not openly blacklisted and yet, in 
effect, were blacklisted. The book by John Cogley called 
Report on Blacklisting gives an excellent description of 
this on pages 141 and 172. And he also discusses, on page 
166, the technique of getting off the blacklist, a clearance 
procedure that was begun in 19 52 whereby individuals would 
have interviews with Roy Brewer or Martin Gang, an attorney, 
or George Sokolsky, the Hearst columnist, or with the clear- 
ance committee of the American Legion, and would write a 
letter; and if the disclaimers met with the approval of 
these individuals, they would be able to get back to work. 
There was a second article by Richard English in the 
August 30 edition of the Saturday Evening Post on the Reds 
in Mexico. And this time it was myself and others who 
had sat around in the Bella Vista Hotel drinking pink 
planter's punch. I happen never to have had a pink planter's 
punch, but I think that English, who reportedly was 
an alcoholic, was probably well acquainted with it. 
[laughter] The article said that we had had a dinner in 
a room in the hotel in which we were plotting our various 
activities in Mexico, and we got drunk and proceeded to 
walk around the room singing "The International" until 


some Texans came in and cleared us out--this being his, 
let's say, dreamy expansion of the event that had occurred 
with Willard Motley. He also said that Gordon Kahn and I 
were disrupters in the parent- teacher association of a 
school in Cuernavaca because I wanted Russian taught and 
Kahn wanted Chinese history in the curriculum. Now, there 
was absolutely no way of replying to a malicious and untrue 
article like that because the Saturday Evening Post wouldn't 
publish it. I did publish a letter in the September 20 
issue of the Nation in which I spoke about its falla- 
ciousness; but, of course, what was the readership of the 
Nation compared to the readership of the Post ? This article 
caused my son to quit high school, which he had just 
matriculated in, because he felt so miserable thinking 
that the others in this American high school would be 
pointing their fingers at him, and there was no redress 
for this. 

On September 24, 1952, a very bizarre event occurred. 
My wife and daughter were on a plane going to Oaxaca to 
visit our friend Lini DeVries, who had moved there, and a 
bomb went off in the plane and tore a hole in the fuselage 
and knocked out all of the instruments; but the plane was 
able to keep flying, and my wife was injured by a piece 
of flying steel hitting her ankle. The doctor said later 
that it was like a grenade wound. And the plane almost 


crashed as it ran out of fuel but finally managed to 
land through a cloud, through clouds that obscured the 
ground, at an emergency air force base. And the bomb had 
been placed on the plane by two characters who had hoped 
to get insurance for ten Mexican — for ten peasants they 
had sent down to a nonexistent job in Oaxaca after buying 
large insurance policies on their lives. It was an abso- 
lutely nutty scheme because if it had worked, the police 
would immediately have wanted to know who was getting the 
big payoffs on the insurance, and they would have been 
caught. But this bizarre event almost seemed to be part 
of what we expected in the turbulent experiences we were 
undergoing. We had hoped for some tranquillity, but within 
weeks after we reached Cuernavaca in April 19 51, my wife 
got polio, and after she recovered from that (without 
damage fortunately) , this was followed by the death of her 
best friend and then by the newspaper attacks on us. And 
both of our kids were not in good shape because the year 
I was in prison had been very bad for them, and there 
seemed no end to what was happening from all sides. 

My wife subsequently wrote a book about these events 
and about the trial of the two men, and it was called 
Seven Shares in a Gold Mine --oh, it was not ten peasants, 
that's right, it was seven peasants that they had sent 
down . . . Seven Shares in a Gold Mine , that was published 


by Simon and Schuster in 19 59. 

During the year, BBC did eight broadcasts of a ninety- 
minute radio play based on The Cross and the Arrow , and I 
was published once again in a good many foreign countries. 
I did have one exception to the lack of publication in the 
United States. A volume called The Best of the Best Short 
Stories was published and "Man on a Road" was included. 
My earnings that year went up to almost $11,000 because 
of foreign royalties and royalties from Naked City . 

In 1953 McCarthyism was riding so high that President 
Eisenhower campaigned in Wisconsin for McCarthy's reelection. 
At the same time, Charlie Chaplin was driven from the 
country and Thomas Mann left the country. In Czechoslovakia 
the dreadful Slansky trial took place in which men were 
framed because it was part of the Stalin era that this be 
carried out. I later met two of the men who survived it: 
one of them is a good friend, Eduard Goldstucker, who is a 
literary man; and the other was an Israeli who happened 
to be in Czechoslovakia at the time. A book was published 
about this trial called The Confession by Artur London, who 
was one of those convicted. It was published by William 
Morrow and Company in 19 70. Stalin died in March. We thank 
God for that. [laughter] And the Korean War came to an 

In March there were also hideous attacks on the film 
Salt of the Earth, which was being shot in New Mexico. This 


was the project that Herbert Biberman directed and Paul 
Jarrico produced and Michael Wilson, one of the best screen- 
writers in the world, wrote. Representative [Donald] 
Jackson, of California, attacked the film as it was in 
production and without having read the script. He said. . , 
[tape recorder turned off] He said in Congress: 
"Mr. Speaker, I've received reports of the sequences filmed 
to date during the making of the picture, and it depicts 
exactly what might be expected from a group of Communists 
engaged in the making of a motion picture. The picture 
is deliberately designed to inflame racial hatreds and 
to depict the United States of America as the enemy of all 
colored peoples." This was simply not true. But he said 
it on the floor of Congress and, as a result, the leading 
actress in the film, a Mexican woman, Rosaura Revueltas, 
was suddenly deported before the last scenes of the picture 
were shot. And so it was made clear that we were not 
only to be blacklisted in the film industry, but we would 
be prevented from doing independent movies. 

In August of 19 52 my family and I had moved up to a 
rented house in Mexico City because we wanted to put our 
children into school. I should have mentioned this earlier. 

In June 1953 the terrible event of the execution of 
the Rosenbergs took place. Like so many others, we had 
followed every step of the last struggle to save them with 


a great deal of anguish, and the day after they were 
executed, in a great burst of feeling, I wrote a piece 
that was published in the People's World . I remember that 
same month there was a story, actually on June 22, just 
a few days later, there was a story in the New York Times 
on the front page that the books of forty authors had been 
banned by the government in overseas libraries. And my 
book The Cross and the Arrow was one of them. Now, this 
had the gravest consequences for me of anything that had 
happened in the blacklist years because a great many 
librarians in the United States apparently took a hint from 
this and proceeded to take my books out of the libraries. 
For instance, when I happened to be in Boston in 1961, I 
discovered that although my books had been published by a 
Boston publisher, they were not on the shelves in the main 
Boston library, and one of them was listed as being acces- 
sible by special permission. And none of my books were in 
the Beverly Hills library when I visited here. An author 
can die, but his books remain in libraries to be read down 
the years; but if an author's books are taken out of 
libraries, then it's as though he never lived and wrote at 
all. And this was a bad blow. You want some water? 
GARDNER: No, I'm okay. 

MALTZ: During this summer, I finished the second version 
of A Long Day in a Short Life and again had it read by 


some friends, and I entered into a long correspondence 
about it with Lloyd Brown. Brown was either a union 
organizer, I believe, or a Communist party organizer. 
I don't remember. But my book was given to him by Sam 
Sillen of Mainstream , and Brown, who himself was the author 
of an interesting novel, had various critical comments to 
make about the way in which I handled the black characters 
in my book. And I respected him and entered into a very 
considerable correspondence with him before beginning some 
further revisions. In September The Robe opened with 
Philip Dunne's name on it as writer. Have I made clear 
that he didn't know of my connection? 
GARDNER: You have mentioned that. 

MALTZ: Oh, I'm glad, I'm glad I asked you. It's very 
important to make that clear, as I didn't know at the 
time, but now know, that when Darryl Zanuck took on 
The Robe , he wanted some cuts in it and some changes. 
The cuts were made necessary by the fact that costs on 
making of films had increased enormously from the time I 
first wrote my script until the time when they were ready 
for production. And Philip Dunne was given my script 
without my name on it and told by the producer that it was 
an amalgam of so many scripts that no one could get any 
credit on it. He subsequently told me that if he had 
known that it was my script, he would not have done any 


work on it. And he is, I know, a very principled man. 
So he did the changes that were required, and his name was 
on it as the writer. I had a very mixed reaction to the 
film. I thought the direction by Henry Koster was very 
stiff and lacking in earthiness. Some reviewers, like 
Bosley Crowther of the New York Times , agreed with me, 
but most of the reviews were excellent. And it was, I 
believe, the largest-grossing film up to the time, larger 
than Gone with the Wind . . . 
GARDNER: Really? 

MALTZ: ... in its first . . . 
GARDNER: Oh, in its initial run. 

MALTZ: ... in its initial run— some $30 million. By 
today's theater prices that would be a gross well over 
$120 million. 

GARDNER: How much did you realize from it? 

MALTZ: I finally realized, I think, about $75,000 from it, 
which, of course, was very important money at that time. 
And during that year, a dramatization of my novel The Under - 
ground Stream played in a theater in Paris, and BBC 
broadcast at various times a radio play based on Simon 
McKeever . Cross and the Arrow came out in China, and I 
began a very interesting correspondence with a writer called 
Mao Tun. This came about because I had asked several 
questions of my correspondent in China, and he said they 


would be answered by a writer, by another man. In the 
course of our correspondence, Mao Tun sent me a volume of 
short stories and then a novel, and I thought his short 
stories were marvelous. I had a discussion with him about 
socialist realism in which I expressed my complete dissatis- 
faction with this theory of literature. He defended it 
but in a somewhat feeble manner. And then after about 
three years of correspondence, I discovered that he was 
the Chinese minister of culture, and he hadn't let me 
know this. [laughter] He is, as I write, still alive 
and eighty-one. 

GARDNER: Do you still correspond? 

MALTZ: No, the correspondence ended when I came up to 
the United States. I had regards from him recently through 
another person there. But I have an idea now that his 
position, which I saw reflected in a newspaper article, 
has solidified in a way that would make us feel very 
differently about literature, or make us think very 
differently about the purpose of literature. However, from 
his stories, I feel sure that if we met it would be 
personally very pleasant. 

My earnings in that year went up because of foreign 
royalties (and not yet anything from The Robe ) to almost 
$17,000, and since living at that time was about a third 
cheaper in Mexico than in the United States, that was a 


very good living. Early in the next year I met Bruno 
Traven. I presume you would like some material on him. 

GARDNER: Yes, definitely! 

MALTZ: And I met him no differently than anyone else who 
met him in Mexico, under the name of [Hal] Croves. Traven 
was a slender, small man who looked like a midwestern 
university professor, and who talked with a Germanic accent, 
talked English with a Germanic accent, and who gave no 
sense from his person of the kind of varied life he had 
lived in Mexico, which must have taken a man of great 
physical endurance. And the occasion for my meeting him 
was that he had been down in the state of Chiapas, where 
his novel The Rebellion of the Hanged was being filmed. 
Along with the company there, there was an American woman 
whom I knew, Elizabeth Timberman, whose husband, Charles 
Humboldt, I was especially friendly with, and she was 
there as a still photographer to take photographs of the 
production. She was a marvelous photographer. But there 
had been very heavy rains in the area so that shooting had 
been interrupted for several weeks. And during that time 
conditions of life were very difficult, under primitive 
circumstances, and excepting for the camera crew led by 
the cinema tographer Gabriel Figueroa, everyone else took 
to a good deal of drinking. And in that period my friend 


Elizabeth, who had great emotional problems and who 
suffered from manic-depression, became manic, and Traven 
took it upon himself to bring her back to Mexico City. 
He apparently almost suffered a disaster with her on the 
light plane flying them out of Chiapas. But they made it 
up to Mexico City, and in moments of lucidity she told 
him that her husband was in the States for a visit and gave 
him our name and address. And so he brought her to us 
early one morning, and we had her on our hands. 

Now, I subsequently met Traven again due to the 
production of a film of his which Phil Stevenson wrote. 
And when he was dying, in 1969, I was in Mexico on a 
brief visit and [door bell rings] — oh, I must stop for the 
moment in case my wife doesn't. . . . [tape recorder 
turned off] Since I fell ill with turista , I realized 
something about Traven: that he was one of those very 
fortunate individuals who have a built-in resistance to 
any of the dysentery germs. My son was like that. My 
son, from the time we arrived in Cuernavaca, ate anything 
off the street, the very thing that was forbidden by all 
doctors, and he never got ill. Whereas my wife, for 
instance, not only got turista but got amoebic dysentery 
half a dozen times. And unless Traven had been immune in 
that way, he never would have probably survived to live 
and, certainly, to write, because he obviously, from his 


books, lived in back areas of Mexico for a great many 

years. What I know about Traven comes from his very 

close friend, Gabriel Figueroa. 

GARDNER: Did you know him as Traven, or did he. . . ? 

MALTZ: No, nobody knew him as Traven. No, they only knew 

him as Croves. Now, even Gabriel Figueroa was so close 

with Traven that when Gabriel wanted to take an option on 

one of Traven's novels, which I worked on subsequently, 

they didn't need a piece of paper between them; it was 

just their word. And Traven bought an automobile, for 

instance, for the sixteenth birthday of one of Gabriel's 

sons. They were deeply close friends. And yet, Gabriel 

told me, when he went to see Traven within two or three 

days before his death, he continued to call him Hal Croves 

and never anything else. Now, the reason behind this was 

that Traven, although sane in every other way, had an 

absolutely paranoid fear that if he was known as Traven, he 

might still be deported to Germany and executed because 

of his role in an insurrection after World War I. 

GARDNER: The Munich. . . ? 

MALTZ: The Munich, yes, events. And he had been arrested 

and sentenced to death and had escaped. And for a man 

to carry on all down the years in that fashion is bewildering, 

but he nevertheless did it, and even with so close a friend 

as Gabriel. So that really ... it answers the mystery 


of Traven and, I'm sure, answers it correctly, because 
Gabriel Figueroa is a man of dignity and honor, and he 
just never would have told me anything like that unless 
it was true. 

During this period we had to move from our rented 
house. We found another one in a most beautiful section 
of Mexico City called San Angel. Actually, we were about 
two blocks away from Diego Rivera's residence and studio, 
and it was an area with cobblestone streets and high walls 
and very attractive. It was in this year that a new 
American family came down to live in Mexico. I had read 
about them some weeks before in the Nation . Their name, 
as I came to know them, was Charles and Berthe Small. His 
name, however, from birth, and for many years before that 
in his work in the trade-union movement, was Smolikoff. I 
had read about them in the Nation because there had been 
some events in Miami, Florida, where, in spite of Supreme 
Court rulings on the Fifth Amendment, a judge in Miami 
had put them both in jail for taking the Fifth Amendment 
before a grand jury. And now, out of jail, they had come 
down to Mexico to be free of harassment, and we met and 
they became our dearest friends there. Hold up one second. 

[tape recorder turned off] Charles Small died this year, 
and I wrote a short piece about him which I will give you 

for inclusion with my materials. And I won't say anything 
more about him now. 


This was a year in which the idiocies continued in 
their pernicious fashion in the United States, and it was 
also the year in which the CIA engineered a coup in 
Guatemala with the results that the United Fruit Company 
was able to get back land which it had held uncultivated 
and which had been given to hungry peasants in the country 
to cultivate. And ever since this "great" coup, which 
was fallaciously called an anti-Communist coup, the jails 
of Guatemala have been full and the torturers have been 
busy. Actually, the government in Guatemala at that time 
was about as Left as the Roosevelt government, but it did 
make the error of saying that uncultivated land should be 
cultivated, and so Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles ran to 
the rescue, and we in Mexico City helped finance some of 
the refugees who came. 

I completed my novel in this year, and I sent it out 
at once to Little, Brown and Company, which had published 
my three previous novels, and they rejected it. I had 
expected that they would reject it because they had 
already fired the chief editor, Angus Cameron, and dropped 
other writers on their list. And so I had had a secretary 
make many copies so that I could send it out to foreign 
countries. By this time I no longer had my agent Maxim 
Lieber, who had retired from the business since he too 
had been mentioned — in his case by . . . oh, that character 


in the Hiss case . . . Whittaker Chambers had mentioned 
Lieber and a great many of his authors had immediately 
deserted him, including Erskine Caldwell, and so Lieber 
was now in Mexico. And since those were the days before 
Xerox machines, my secretary had to type many times in 
order to get seventeen — in order to get the copies that I 
sent out to foreign countries. 

In the course of the next two years I got seventeen 
rejections from American publishers while getting sixteen 
contracts with foreign countries. And finally, when my 
agent (another agent I had just for the United States) told 
me that he didn't think he could get a publisher, I gave it 
to International Publishers so that at least my friends 
could read it. It sold less than a thousand copies, I 
think, but it did have a small book club sale of a Left 
book club that took about 3,000 or 4,000 copies. I think 
I might mention that the agent in New York who handled 
the book for the United States was about the fourth agent 
I had tried. All others declined to take the book, and 
this man, whose name was Ivan Von Auw, was someone I had 
known when he was an executive of the Authors League. 
And I want to pay my respects to him for his courage. 

I had, like everyone else, to work out a philosophy 
in order to live the blacklist years without bitterness. 
Now, some were not very successful in this--for instance, 


Adrian Scott was not. Adrian was a bitter man about the 
blacklist although it didn't mar his personal sweetness as 
a human being. But it was very necessary for me to find 
a philosophy with which I could be comfortable, and I had 
this attitude toward it: I felt that only two years after 
the defeat of German fascism, and only one year after the 
Nuremberg trials, we in the Ten had found ourselves in a 
fight against an American fascism; and that if I had been 
a Frenchman and, let's say, had had the principle and 
courage to join the resistance movement during the war, 
I might have been dead or ended in a gestapo torture 
chamber, and that this was all part of the same world 
struggle, and that blacklisting was a very minor price 
which we in America had had to pay for joining in that 
struggle. It is the philosophy on which I still lean 
today, i find. Because, while I don't regret the stand 
I took and would do the same thing over, I do regret that 
I was not permitted to do the work that I feel was in me 
to do. And, of course, it has not been lost on any of us 
who were blacklisted then, who were casualties of those 
years, how the Watergate conspirators came out. A short 
time ago I watched Ehrlichman being interviewed by Dick 
Cavett, and the books that they have written, the money 
they have earned for committing perjury and obstruction 
of justice, and so on, is quite a contrast to the way we 


were treated. It's not been lost on me, either, that the 
Soviet Union has been using the weapon of job blacklisting 
— and worse — on its dissidents . One of the things I 

determined in those years was that I would never be party 
to the blacklist of anybody, no matter what their political 


JANUARY 3, 19 79 

MALTZ: I published an article "The Law Behind McCarthy" 
in the English magazine the New Statesman and Nation . I 
can't remember now why the author was "an American corre- 
spondent" and why it was done anonymously, but it was 
republished in a dozen countries. I did have a publication 
of one short story in the United States because of an 
anthology which was called [ The Pocket Book of 0' Henry 
Prize Stories ] , and mine could not be left out. 
But nothing else was published. And in that year I 
earned about $30,000 from The Robe and foreign royalties. 
And at that time I had much more economic security than 
most of the blacklisted writers I knew about. I had, 
of course, an outlet with foreign countries for my fiction 
writing. This is, I think, a relevant moment to put on 
record the true severity of the blacklist for people who 
had previously worked in films. 

The blacklist that started in April 1951 finally 
embraced some 250 individuals who had worked in the film 
industry. They came from many categories: craft workers 
and technicians, secretaries, readers, public relations, 
agents, set designers, cartoonists, musicians and composers, 
story editors, directors, producers, and writers. Of 
these, only the writers could do their work alone and at 


home; all of the others had to pass through the studio 
gates by the nature of their work. And no one of them 
ever did. They were all out . . . absolutely out. Among 
actors, for instance, this included two Academy award 
winners, Gale Sondergaard and Ann Revere, and such 
well-known actors, who were always in demand previously, 
as Morris Carnovsky, J. Edward Bromberg, Howard Da Silva, 
Victor Killian, Lionel Stander, Elliott Sullivan, Dorothy 
Tree, Lloyd Gough, Karen Morley, Jeff Corey. It was not 
until ten to fifteen years had passed that some of them 
got film work again. 

Now, the writers were the largest category of black- 
listees. A myth has grown up that they all went on writing 
merrily at their usual salaries, but under other names. 
This was absolutely not so. In the year 1954, for instance, 
blacklisted writers whom I personally knew were earning a 
living, such as it was, in the following occupations: 
bartender, Ned Young; commercial fisherman, Harold J. Smith 
(these two men were to write under pseudonyms, or Ned Young 
under a pseudonym, The Defiant Ones , in 1958) ;* stage 
manager in a night club, Alvah Bessie; office clerk, Lester 
Cole; maitre d' in a hotel, Robert Lees; salesman for a 
wholesale-paper house, Fred Rinaldo (those two, Lees and 
Rinaldo, were responsible for most of the big successes of 

Young as Nathan E. Douglas, Smith under his own name. 


the Abbott and Costello films) ; TV repair shop, Edward Hubesch; 
printing shop, Louise Rousseau; camera shop, Val Burton. 

The only writers who were doing films under cover at 
this time that I know about were Dalton Trumbo and Michael 
Wilson. They were doing them together and getting $3,000 
a script instead of $75,000. But then Wilson got a passport 
by the accident that he had a first name that he hadn't 
used in film writing, and he went abroad and then was able 
to work under much better terms. Along the way, after 
several years, Ring Lardner Jr. , and Ian Hunter were able 
to collaborate on a TV series, "Robin Hood," because the 
producer was in England and she wanted to use them. What 
did open up in New York and then in L.A. after several 
years for some writers was TV under other names. TV was 
a new operation, and the close watch on who the individuals 
were was not the same as it was in films. And TV did 
provide work and a kind of living for some writers, but 
certainly not all. In short, the blacklist was a devas- 
tating blow to all who suffered it. And for some it meant 
that they never again worked in the film industry. It 
was about this time that the Writers Guild completely 
capitulated to the executives and to the blacklist by 
voting that the name of any uncooperative witness could be 
removed from a script even if he had written it before 
he appeared before the congressional committee. Michael 
Wilson's name, for instance, had been on A Place in the Sun, 


for which he won an Academy award, on Five Fingers and 
other films, but was not on the Friendly Persuasion , even 
though he had written it before he was blacklisted. 

In the year 1955, submissions and rejections of 
A Long Day in a Short Life continued in the United States. 
I began work on a short story and research for a play about 
Victor Hugo. It was the first time I had wanted to write 
a play in some twenty years. Around this time I met Diego 
Rivera for the first time and confirmed at once what I had 
already heard — that he loved to tell whopping lies. This 
was a peculiarity that he had. And during this time (he was 
then, I think, perhaps, in his late sixties) I watched him 
paint from 7:30 in the morning until 7:30 at night doing 
the mural on the outside of a theater on a boulevard in 
Mexico City that I had occasion to travel on frequently. 
And I remember once being at a party where I left at about 
midnight, and I was told that he continued there until 
three in the morning, dancing and kissing the hand of every 
girl he danced with, but he was out at 7:30 the next 
morning anyway. His studio was about two blocks from my 
home. It was on the second floor of a building with a 
skylight instead of a roof. The particular feature of his 
studio was that he had about a dozen Judas figures which 
were made of papier mache and were eight to ten feet tall. 
These are figures that in Mexico are wound with firecrackers 


at Eastertime and blown up as a symbol of destroying Judas. 
But he liked them as an example of ethnic art and had them 
around in his studio. I never knew him well. I met a 
number of other Mexican artists at this time who became my 
friends, and I saw not a little of them; among them were 
Jose Chavez Morado, who had begun drawing as a Mexican 
wetback around campfires at night in the United States 
where he was a crop worker. And others--I think there's 
no point in just listing their names. 

It was in this year that there was a publication of a 
monumental work, The Judgment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg 
by John Wexley. Since we were then in a period of tremendous 
repression, it stands as an example of the enormous value 
of a free press in any society. Because, even though no 
major publisher took the book, it was published by a small, 
let's say, publisher of dissident works, Cameron and Kahn, 
this being Angus Cameron who had been fired from Little, 
Brown, and Albert Kahn, a Communist writer who had had a 
number of best-sellers in the thirties. And this book by 
Wexley, which indicted the FBI, which indicted Judge Kaufman 
in the Rosenberg case, and the prosecutors, nevertheless 
was published and did find its way to readers by its sheer 
power and by word of mouth. It was the beginning of the 
trend toward the wider acceptance of the fact that the 
Rosenbergs were innocent. The book involved an enormous 


amount of research and great cerebral power on the part of 
the author. I know that after reading it I was so profoundly 
impressed and moved by it that I wrote people about it, 
and I wrote an article in the National Guardian that was 
published in 1956. I want to. . . . [tape recorder turned 

This same year an attorney, Marshall Perlin, came 
down to Mexico and came to see me on the case of Morton 
Sobell, who had been tried with the Rosenbergs and sentenced 
to thirty years in prison. Perlin wanted to get more data 
on the question of Sobell' s illegal apprehension and kid- 
napping in Mexico City by secret police acting for the 
U.S. embassy. In fact, the United States and Mexico did 
not at that time, and perhaps still do not, have a treaty 
of extradition. And so in the case of Sobell, and it has 
happened with others, when the United States wants someone 
who is in Mexico, it pays certain members of the Mexican 
secret police to do something without the knowledge of 
the Mexican government; or perhaps it may be with the 
knowledge of the government— I don't know. [tape recorder 
turned off] 

In the case of Sobell, the secret police agents rang 
his doorbell one evening, and when he answered it, they 
just grabbed him and hustled him by force into a car 
and drove without stopping up to the border at Nuevo Laredo 


and walked him onto the bridge that is between the two 

countries and there pushed him into the arms of waiting 

FBI agents. And Perlin wanted data on this and to try 

to get evidence of the kidnapping. I invited various of 

the left-wing Americans I knew there to my home, and 

Perlin talked to them, and we raised some money for him 

to work at this. 

GARDNER: He was from New York. 

MALTZ: He was from New York, yes. And I might mention that 

he is still today working with the two Rosenberg sons to 

prove their parents' innocence. This has been steady for 

him since, say, 1955, at least. 

One example of the — one footnote about the blacklist: 
my literary agent Maxim Leiber had come down to Mexico 
around the year 1952, I believe, because, having been 
mentioned by Whittaker Chambers, he found his clients 
leaving him and was no longer able to carry on business. 
But he found that in Mexico he had nothing to do, and he 
was going out of his mind with boredom. Since he had been 
born in Poland, it occurred to him that he might be able 
to function in the publishing industry there as someone 
who knew American and English literature, and he went to 
the Polish consulate and set up contacts. And as a result, 
in the year 1955 he and his wife and children moved to 
Poland. There he did function with several publishers, 


and I saw him there in 19 59, which I'll mention. But 
it's very interesting that by 1962 he returned to the 
United States in disgust at the society he'd found there. 

During this year, the House Committee on Un-American 
Activities investigated twenty-seven members of the New 
York theatrical world, and individuals like Zero Mostel 
were blacklisted. Two men, Pete Seeger and my friend 
Elliott Sullivan, took the First Amendment for the first 
time since we went to the stand, and that was an exciting 
development. Since I may forget to mention it in the 
future, on different grounds neither man ever went to prison, 
But it was not for a basic constitutional reason. 

By this time of my residence in Mexico I was getting 
a real awareness of the meaning of the word motherland in 
respect to one's work. Although I was being published 
very widely in foreign countries, it just didn't mean the 
same thing to me as being published in the United States. 
In 19 56, in the spring, there was the comedy of an Academy 
Award being given to the writer of the film The Brave One , 
and the only name to turn up was one Robert Rich; but 
nobody turned up in person, and it became clear to the 
assembled audience that it had been written by someone 
on the blacklist. After a while, it became generally 
assumed that it was Dalton Trumbo who had written this 
script, as indeed it was, but this did not break the 


blacklist. Trumbo continued on it for another four years. 

I'll now turn to an event that had the most profound 
consequences for me, and that was the secret report of 
Khrushchev in February '56 to the twentieth congress of the 
Communist party. It was published in the New York Times 
on June 2. I want to read from The World Since 1939 by 
Carroll Quigley,* page 357: "All of the rest which the 
fellow travelers throughout the world had been denying for 
a generation poured out: the enormous slave labor camps, 
the murder of innocent persons by tens of thousands, the 
wholesale violation of law, the use of fiendishly planned 
torture to exact confessions for acts never done, or to 
involve persons who were completely innocent, the ruthless 
elimination of whole classes and of whole nations such 
as the army officers, the kulaks and the Kalmuk, Chechen, 
Ingush and Balkar minority groups. The servility of writers, 
artists and everyone else, including all party members, to 
the tyrant was revealed, along with a total failure of 
his agricultural schemes, his cowardice and incompetence 
in the war, his insignificance in the early history of the 
party, and his constant rewriting of history to conceal 
these things . " 

The shock effect of this report on me, and I know on 
many others, was absolutely disemboweling. I can indicate 
one aspect of its effect by saying that for six months I 

*Part II of Tragedy and Hope 


could do no writing. I tried to digest the meaning of 
these revelations, and to ponder them, and to ask why they 
had happened and what sort of society and governmental 
system had allowed them to happen. I went back to the 
Marxist classics to see what clues they could offer me, 
and I also read every word published by commentators, Left 
and Right, on these revelations. 

And it was not only I who was affected in this way. I 
want to read from A Long View from the Left by Al Richmond, 
page 367: "Words for reactions in Communist ranks were 
used by very political men: 'Shock . . . pain' (Dennis) ," 
and by Togliatti of Italy, "surprise . . . grief . . . 
bewilderment . . . perturbation ..." Says Richmond: 
"It might appear odd to invoke their descriptions of such 
intimate feelings, and yet I quote them to stress the 
universality of these responses. To tell how searing one 
man's pain was, how anguished his perturbation, may be 
trivial in itself; the difficult remembrance has its true 
validity only as evocation of what went on within millions 
of Communists the world over when they were suddenly 
confronted with the nightmare of terror, suspicion, fear, 
megalomania, and cruel caprice that Khrushchev unveiled. 
Their trauma reflected the political and ethical impulses 
that motivated them, for to speak of pain and bewilderment 
is also to speak of confrontation with things abhorrent 


and alien. Not that the reactions were uniform but the 
chords above were widespread." [tape recorder turned off] 

One of the results of the report was that a great 
many people left the Communist party, or if they had been, 
let's say, sympathizers, left its orbit. I emerged from 
this period of thought and emotional turmoil with quite 
a number of conclusions. Among them were the following: 
first, that it was nonsense to speak of Marxism as a 
science. It was the custom of Communist parties to do 
this. But the events in the Soviet Union had demonstrated 
that it certainly wasn't a science. Two, [I came to] 
the conclusion that Stalin could clearly not have grown 
to be the tyrant he was, or committed the horrors he did, 
unless the political system permitted it. The official 
Soviet characterization of the Stalin era as the cult of 
personality was a way for me of sweeping the problem under 
the rug. It did not answer the crucial questions of what 
in the social fabric and political system permitted this 
so-called cult of personality to grow and flourish, and 
to imprison, torture, and murder millions of innocent Soviet 
citizens dedicated to the welfare of their country. Actually, 
the Khrushchev report and others that followed did not 
nearly reveal the full damage done by Stalin, as was subse- 
quently revealed by a Soviet historian, Roy Medvedev, in 
Let History Judge , published by Knopf in the seventies. 


Third, I concluded that no society could have any real 
freedoms if the press and other media of communication were 
owned by the government. This is not to say that I previously 
had been unaware that there was no freedom of press and 
speech and political activity in the Soviet Union in the 
way that we cherish them in the United States. But I had 
postponed final judgment on the matter because of Russian 
history and the belief that these freedoms would evolve as 
the country grew stronger and less afraid of attack by the 
capitalist nations. But now I no longer postponed judgment 
because it seemed to me clear that the dictatorship of the 
proletariat inevitably transformed itself in practice into 
the dictatorship of a handful of men at best, and of one 
man at worst. Under such a system free speech and press 
and political rights would never develop because it was 
so exceedingly comfortable to rule without them. These 
conclusions did not turn me away from the ideals of a world 
without exploitation of man by man, and it did not change 
my belief that a planned economy made much more sense than 
an unplanned one. But it did make a profound difference 
in my attitudes toward the socialist countries. From then 
on, the form of government in all existing socialist 
countries was unacceptable to me. I also felt that what 
had occurred in the Soviet Union was the greatest tragedy 
in all of human history, a much greater tragedy than the 


murder of people in the Nazi holocaust because the Nazis 
had made clear that they had certain enemies that they 
wanted to get rid of whereas in Soviet society, with its 
magnificently proclaimed ideals, there was such gross 
hypocrisy hidden behind the ideals in what was done by 
individual to individual! In addition, the Soviet Union 
with its ideals embodied all that mankind, I think, had 
hoped for down the centuries, and that this should have 
been betrayed in such a terrible and needless fashion was 
what made it the greatest tragedy in human history. However, 
this did not make me feel, as I know it did others, that 
I had thrown away three decades of my life in taking the 
political positions I had. 

To go to a quite different experience, I learned 
something about Catholicism due to one trip in Mexico that 
I had never understood before, and I think it is useful to 
put on record. In the city of Puebla there is now a 
museum that's called the Secret Convent. Around the year 
1870 President Juarez of Mexico ordered the abolition of all 
secret monasteries and convents. There were practical 
reasons for this, as it was explained to me. For instance, 
let's say that a brother and a sister were due to inherit 
the estates of parents. It had happened more than once 
that the brother maneuvered to have the sister put into 
a convent which was a closed convent and like a prison, 


and the sister could never emerge, and he took over her 
part of the estate. Or parents discovered that a daughter 
was pregnant and promptly had her transferred to a secret 
convent from which she never emerged, and where the child 
was either brought up or, from the testimony of many 
bones found in the secret convent when it was opened in 
1934, perhaps left to die. It was very fascinating, archi- 
tecturally, to enter the secret convent from a small 
secret door in another house and to discover then an 
extremely large area involving gardens, involving place 
for quite a number of people, and backing up to a church 
where the nuns could sit on one side and listen to the 
ceremony without being seen by anyone on the other side. 
And to realize that the entire neighborhood had had to 
cooperate with this convent for about sixty years or 
else its secrecy could not have been maintained because 
food had to be brought in, and garbage had to be taken 
out, and firewood, and so on. 

But there was one aspect about it that struck me most 
forcibly. The sisters ate, in pleasant weather, in a 
balcony area where the walls were hung with paintings of 
saints, female saints, being tortured in the most horrible 
way by Romans. For instance, I remember one female whose 
breast was being torn off with pincers by Roman soldiers. 
Now, to have human beings, albeit nuns, eat in such 
surroundings struck me as being ... as having an 


extraordinary emphasis upon the macabre in this religion. 
And then we were led to a basement where there was an 
altar and where it was dark except for candles that would 
be lit. And there, there was a clothes rack on which 
hair shirts were hung, and there were crowns of thorns, 
and there were whips. We were told that the nuns would 
come down, remove their garments, put on hair shirts, 
press crowns of thorns into their scalps and then flagellate 
themselves with whips as they kneeled before the altar. 
And there was a painting of Christ on the cross. It 
occurred to me that I knew of no major religion in the 
world which stressed death in the way that Catholicism did. 
In the history of the life of Jesus, it would have been 
possible to make as a symbol for the church his Sermon on 
the Mount, and he could have been represented as a teacher 
speaking to people. But it was not that: it was Christ 
suffering on the cross that was emphasized. And it was 
His pain that was being revered and extolled as that 
which others, if they were to be most holy, would similarly 
try to suffer. There is nothing comparable to this that 
I ever read about in Hinduism, Muhammadenism, Shintoism, 
or any other religion, and I just found it tremendously 

In late October there came the uprising in Hungary, 
which was certainly a popular uprising against a repressive 


Stalinist regime. It was crushed by Russian troops, of 
course, and the Russians asserted that fascist elements 
from Berlin had been poised, waiting for the uprising, and 
had rushed in to be part of it. As a matter of fact, when 
I was in Hungary in '59, only three years later, I met an 
American Communist, who had been a trade unionist and had 
been deported from the United States, who told me that in 
that uprising he "knew" that arms had come in from the 
outside. And he "knew" that very quickly anti-Semitic 
slogans had been raised by agitators in the crowd. And 
that may all be true, but it doesn't change the fact that 
masses of people and a portion of the army, at least, were 
part of that uprising. You could send in all the arms 
you wanted into Beverly Hills, but I think you wouldn't get 
an uprising of people in Beverly Hills against their mayor. 
And that's the difference. 

In this year, 1956, the first of three foreign editions 
of — the first three foreign editions of A Long Day in a 
Short Life came out. And I wrote a play about Victor Hugo 
in this year, and my agent started submitting it to New 
York producers. 

GARDNER: Did you have any hope of production? 
MALTZ: Yes, I could have hope of production because the 
theater was not in a state of absolute blacklist at all. 
The theater was composed of individual entrepreneur producers, 


and in spite of the investigation that occurred in the 
year before that I referred to, it was still perfectly 
possible that if someone had the interest and the courage 
and the money to put on a play by me, he would be free to 
do it. I can't say I felt optimistic, but it was worth 
submitting to see what would happen. 

In 1957 I did my first film work* since 1949, and it 
came about by accident. A film was being shot in both 
English and Spanish because the producer, a man called 
Olallo Rubio, had gotten enough money to hire some American 
actors as well as Mexican actors. The screenplay had been 
written by an American, and the producer hoped to have a 
world market for it. But the screenplay was being rewritten 
during the production, and after three weeks of shooting, 
the screenplay writer quit the picture after a quarrel 
with the producer and went back to the United States. And 
so the production was left in an absolutely desperate 
situation. I got telephone calls and telegrams asking 
if I would come to their rescue, and out of a feeling that 
I had of gratitude to Mexico for giving me residence there, 
I got on a plane and read the screenplay on my way to the 
West Coast. They were shooting in the state of Sinaloa 
and in a town called Topolobampo. This town was a small 
fishing village on a beautiful bay, but without any water, 
so that water had to be brought in by tank car from another 

Flor de Mayo 


town twelve miles away. 

The screenplay was quite bad. But I saw, I thought, 
some ways of patching it together so that it could make 
sense. And when I arrived, I gave thoughts to — presented 
my thoughts to the director and producer, and they accepted 
them and I started to work. The American actors in it 
were Jack Palance and Paul Stewart, and there were two 
outstanding, or two very popular, Mexican actors, Pedro 
Armendariz and Maria Felix. They waited for about a week 
while I wrote and I had to keep what they had already shot, 
or part of it. And by a combination of hard work and luck, 
with the camera always about a day and a half behind me, I 
worked out a screenplay that held together. It was certainly 
not anything that I would have chosen to do. 

It was written under the most extraordinary circum- 
stances because the only place I and the cast had to stay 
in was a fish cannery. And we were in a little bungalow-- 
I was in a little room which was a single motel room with 
a bath--where there was a shower, not a bath. And as 
the weeks went on into June, it became so hot there that 
I would sit all day in a pair of swim trunks and about 
every twenty minutes--oh, I had a very large fan in the 
room that went twenty-four hours a day--and every twenty 
minutes or so I would walk into a cold shower, which was 
tepid, of course, and turn on the water and not dry off, 


but come out and dry my hands and face only, and sit down 

and go back to work. And that was the only way in which 

I could survive the heat. 

GARDNER: Amazing. 

MALTZ: Pardon? 

GARDNER: It's amazing. 

MALTZ: It was fantastic. And so that was a five-week 

seminightmare, but there I got to be acquainted with 

Gabriel Figueroa, the cameraman, cinema tographer, who is 

a most admirable man and who remained a friend. 

During that summer I got an offer to have my Hugo play 
produced from a man I had known for years who was functioning 
as a stage manager on Broadway. And he said he had backing 
for it. But by then I had received some comments on the 
play, and I felt it needed more work. So I revised my 
concept and wrote another version, and by the time I 
finished the new version, my friend had lost his financial 
backing. My agent continued submitting it, but there were 
no other takers. 

In this year there was a series of events that affected 
the left-wing American community in Mexico. The first had 
to do with Alfred and Martha Stern. Alfred Stern was a 
man originally of Chicago with considerable inherited wealth. 
He was, I know, interested in public housing and very knowl- 
edgeable in the field apparently. He had been associated 


with liberal and left-wing causes in New York. I was sure 
that he had never been a Communist party member by things 
I came to know about him. Martha, his wife, was the daughter 
of a former ambassador to Germany, Dodd. She had been a 
young woman at the time that her father [William Edward Dodd] 
was ambassador, and she was very attractive so that she was 
taken out by German officers, and she had an opportunity 
to see what was going on somewhat from the inside. When 
they left Germany, she wrote a book called Through Embassy 
Eyes , which was very antifascist and which became a best- 
seller. At a certain point around 1953 they moved down 
to Mexico. They had one young son. And they settled down 
there in a very expensive apartment and began to collect 
Mexican art. Martha was writing, and I don't think Alfred 
was doing anything, particularly, except taking care of 
his private affairs and getting very interested in Mexican 
archaeology and so on. 


JANUARY 3, 19 79 

MALTZ: I had not known Alfred and Martha in the States 
and never came to know them intimately in Mexico, but I 
did see them and we had cordial relations. In the summer 
of this year, 19 57, my wife and I visited them in Cuernavaca 
one day and spent the afternoon with them. They were 
at that time building a very large house in Cuernavaca. 
Alfred took me aside, and, as I best recall, he asked 
whether I knew if someone resident in Mexico had to answer 
a grand jury subpoena. I did know the answer to that 
because, a year or two before, I had received (I think I 
had this . . . well, this may be a duplication of something 
that's already in) a telegram from the McCarran committee 
of the Senate telling me that I was under subpoena to 
appear before them by a certain date. I got in touch 
with my attorney, and he said that I did not have to 
honor a subpoena from a congressional committee when I 
was living in another country—but that if it had been a 
subpoena from a grand jury, I would have had to respond 
to it. And Alfred and Martha had received a subpoena from 
a grand jury in either New York or Washington. I don't 
recall whether it was on that day or later that I learned 
what was involved. There was a music composer and a 
would-be producer of films in Hollywood called Boris Morros. 


He had done the music for a couple of films, and he was 
charging that Stern had been in a business with him, a 
music publishing business, and that this was a cover for 
espionage, and that he himself was a double agent. Now, 
Stern told me that he had indeed been in a publishing business 
with Morros briefly, but that he hadn't liked the way in 
which Morros had been conducting the business. I think 
Stern had put up the capital and Morros was in charge of 
it. And he had sued Morros and had collected in court-- 
had gotten a jury decision in his favor and had collected 
in court. But it was this business that Morros asserted 
was the cover. Cedric Belfrage, on page 265 of his book, 
says about Morros that he "introduced himself to spy aficio- 
nados as a piano and cello prodigy who had conducted the 
Tsar's imperial orchestra at 16, and at 22 had come to 
America as musical director of Balieff's Chauve-Souris 
for which he composed The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers . 
On a return visit to the old country in 1945 the Russians 
had asked him to spy for them, and he had reported this 
to Hoover. In 19 50 Hoover had sent him back as a counterspy 
and a Russian secret-police general had 'wined and dined 
me for ten hours straight. ' The Roman-candle headlines 
for Morros flickered out after Balieff's widow said he had 
neither been Chauve-Souris ' s musical director nor composed 
the Wooden Soldiers." 


Now, the Sterns, I know, tried to stay in Mexico, 
but finally the pressure on the Mexican government from 
the U.S. government became too strong. And then I learned 
that they had left the country and found out, in the 
course of a little time, that they apparently had bought 
a Paraguayan passport. And with that they had taken off 
and gone to Czechoslovakia, where they were given residence 
permits. I know that I was absolutely convinced that the 
one thing Alfred Stern could not have been was a spy. I 
wouldn't have said the same thing about Martha Dodd, not 
that I thought she was, but perhaps she had it within her 
to be many kinds of things. But Stern was such an anxious 
man that he never could have embarked upon something so 
anxiety-producing as spying. When he came down to Mexico, 
for instance, he asked me and other Americans to recommend 
a physician, and we all recommended the same physician, 
an American resident there whom we had been using. But 
Stern went around to about ten physicians with his medical 
records, sounding out all of them anxiously until they 
all wanted to get rid of him; none of them wanted to handle 
him, he was such an anxious guy. And I just knew that such 
a person could not have been a spy. [laughter] 

But I do believe that the Sterns were being set up to 
be another Rosenberg case. They would have been perfect 
for it. Here was a woman whose father had been an ambas- 
sador, he was a wealthy Jewish guy--it was a perfect 


combination. Oh, and they were both on the Left; they both 

had had a history of supporting the Labor party in New York 

and various left-wing causes. 

The second event that affected the community was an 

article in Time magazine which appeared in its issue of 

September 1, 1957. It was headed by photographs of Frederick 

Vanderbilt Field, whom I have spoken of before as having 

spent six months in prison, and his former wife, whom the 

article did not designate as his former wife, and of myself. 

I know that the pose that they chose for both Field and 

myself was one designed to make us look extremely sinister, 

and, in addition, the photographs were so touched up as to 

darken our complexions. The story added up to the phony 

conclusion on the part of the article which read as follows: 

On the fringes of the Communist upper crust 
drift several hundred fellow U.S. Communists 
and fellow travelers of lesser rank. Bearded 
and beardless, they idle away the hours in 
avant-garde jazz cellars, drink tequila, and 
loaf. But the top-line expatriates live well. 
Most of them rent comfortable, well-staffed 
houses in Mexico City or the flower-splashed 
resort town of Cuernavaca, talk art in stately 
houses set amid the ancient colonial towers 
and belfries of San Miguel de Allende. Shying 
away from publicity, they entertain one another 
at dinner and avoid noisy nightclubs. They 
operate businesses in travel, real estate, 
even eggs. 

Now, I don't know what the Time magazine writer was thinking 

of in travel--oh, I think I do know. There was a left-wing 

couple down there, the man was nearly blind, and his wife 


had a kind of hanger-on job with a travel agency in which 

she was able to pick up a few pesos by guiding people to 

it. And they were living on minimum funds, and so this 

was the travel thing. Now, the eggs was fascinating. 

Because there was a small egg farm being operated by a 

blacklisted physicist and a blacklisted builder from 

Miami--a builder whom I will talk about presently — and 

they had gone into this in desperation to earn a living 

and were getting a precarious income from it. So this 

was called an egg business. 

They clip coupons or live on fat inheritances. 
A few are reported involved in genuine cloak- 
and-dagger plotting under the command of 
Urey Poperov, who is cultural attache of 
the suspiciously oversized Soviet embassy 
in Mexico City and reputedly the working 
boss of all active Communists in Mexico. 

All this reputed, reputed, reputed and nothing else. 

One thing that came out of this was a legal suit that 

Time settled because they had mentioned, as a gathering 

place for the colony of Communists, "the spacious home of 

Sterling Dickinson, U.S. -born director of art-conscious 

San Miguel de Allende's biggest art school. A resident 

of Mexico for twenty-odd years, he keeps open house for 

Communists and fellow travelers." Well, Dickinson, whom 

none of us knew, was a Catholic very friendly with the 

archbishop, having absolutely nothing to do with politics 

of any sort and especially not left-wing American 


Communists or left-wing Americans. And he sued Time 
magazine and got a settlement on it. But of course none 
of us that Time mentioned was able to sue, but here we 
were being wrapped up in a mantle of probably being spies 
for the Soviet embassy in Mexico. 

This article was perhaps part of a somewhat larger 
campaign that might have been orchestrated by the American 
State Department and culminated in the kidnapping of 
two members of our community in December. One was. . . . 
Want to hold it a second? [tape recorder turned off] One 
was Sam Novick. He was a businessman who had been a 
manufacturer in Chicago. He was one of those unusual 
businessmen who were sympathetic to the Left, and I gather 
that he had been a contributor to left-wing causes. And 
when the Truman-McCarthy era started, various kinds of 
pressures had been put on him and things done to interfere 
with the way he was conducting his business, and he sold 
it or closed out and came down to Mexico. At the time 
I knew him, he had started a small firm to manufacture 
flashlight batteries, and that's what he was doing. The 
second man was Max Shlafrock. He had been a carpenter, 
originally, who worked up to be a builder in Miami. And 
there he had built, among other things, a certain number 
of public schools. He also had been left-wing in his 
sympathies, and in the late forties, contracts began to 


be pulled out from under him, and mortgages that he had 
expected were denied him, and so his business folded and 
he came down to Mexico also. In Mexico he was really in 
very great financial difficulties and had ended up about 
this time in the small chicken farm on the outskirts of 
Mexico with another man. Each man was picked up on the 
street by Mexican secret police. 

As we learned the next day, it was a completely extra- 
curricular kidnapping because there was no official data 
on it, there was no order for it in the Department of the 
Interior. And the only way we knew it was because the 
secret-police agents, feeling complete confidence in 
themselves, I imagine, drove each man to his home to pick 
up, I guess, toothbrush and pajamas, and to tell his family 
that he was being deported. Now, if this fake deportation 
had succeeded, more than likely J. Edgar Hoover would have 
announced their expulsion from Mexico for spy activities, 
and then the various congressional committees would have 
jumped on them, and this would have laid the ground for 
doing the same with other individuals. So our small 
community mobilized more or less in my home, and we went 
to work to try and stop it. 

One phase of our work was to get American attorneys 
who could be trusted to try and work from their end, and 
I called Ben Margolis and got the names of two lawyers in 

89 5 

Texas who were members of the Lawyers Guild. And a second 
phase was to try and get a lawyer in Mexico City who could 
reach into the presidency and tell what was going on. And 
what we wanted to get was something in the Mexican legal 
system called an amparo . Mexico does not have habeas 
corpus in the way we do, but it does have a kind of a 
preventative writ that one can obtain in certain situations 
from a judge. An amparo will say that so-and-so cannot 
be arrested unless the people who want to arrest him come 
before the judge and prove that they have the right to arrest 
him. This prevents arbitrary arrests on the part of the 
police. We set out to try and get an amparo to prevent 
arbitrary deportation of these two men without a hearing 
before a judge. And I remember remaining up until three 
o'clock in the morning one night writing a letter to 
ex-President Lazaro Cardenas, whom some of our Mexican 
friends could reach, in the hope of getting him to intervene 
on this. 

The result was that, after three weeks and the expen- 
diture of about $10,000, we succeeded in preventing the 
deportation. I remember going with a few others once to 
see a most important lawyer who was going to be the one 
who could reach into the office of the presidency and 
talk, perhaps not to him personally, but to his private 
secretary. It was a cold day in December, and when we went 


to see him in his home, he was in his office in his large 
old house, and he had a few electric heaters burning in 
the room and he was wearing an overcoat, as we wore 
overcoats, because in Mexico practically no houses have 
any central heating. And here was this well-known, 
successful lawyer, conducting business in an overcoat. 
But we were able to get the men back and prevent the depor- 
tation. And after this I myself never went out of the 
house without carrying $200 in cash and $500 in traveler's 
checks so that if I were ever snatched and deported, I 
would not be left penniless wherever I landed. 

In November of that year I got my first offer since 
1948 (that was nine years) to work on a piece of film 
material for a Hollywood film. And this was made possible 
because the director, David Miller, wanted to do a historical 
novel called Silver Nutmeg written by Nora Lufts. It so 
happens that Miller's very first film-directing job 
was my short story "The Happiest Man on Earth," for MGM. 
And Miller is perhaps best known for the Dalton Trumbo 
script he directed called Lonely Are the Brave , with Kirk 
Douglas. United Artists had bought the book for Miller, 
either bought or optioned it, and since United Artists was 
a loose outfit in the way they operated, it was possible 
for Miller to hire me at a low figure. Actually, I think 
his attorney put up the money. He worked through the 
Paul Kohner Agency. I fell in love with the material and 


wanted to do it, although it would require months of research 
before I could start writing. It was a story set in 
the seventeenth century in the Far East at a time when 
the Dutch were the most powerful seafarers in the world 
and controlled most of the Eastern spice trade. It was 
a story of both love and of a revolt of natives against 
their Dutch masters. And I felt it could be a very good 
film. I was extremely naive about the contract I signed, 
because I had never done any speculative writing before. 
I merely assumed that I would write a good screenplay and that 
the movie would be made; but in fact Miller was getting a 
top screenwriter to do a major film project for $7,000 plus 
great expectations. On the free market at that time I would 
have gotten anywhere from a low minimum of 75,000 up. 

Miller did have someone who would do research for me, 
and I went to work. One important clause of the contract 
left the date of my completion open-ended. I didn't have to 
work on it exclusively. I ought to mention I wouldn't have 
undertaken it at all if I weren't beginning to need money. 
My reserves were dwindling, and in the past several years 
my earnings also had been dwindling. I signed the contract 
with a pseudonym that I used on certain other works subse- 
quently, John B. Sherry. My mother's maiden name was Sherry. 

In this year, 1957, A Long Day in a Short Life was 
published in the United States by International Publishers. 


I had come to the point where I felt I would like to have it 
read by my friends at least, although it only sold 700 
hardback covers, hardback copies, and outside of the 
left-wing press and several black newspapers, there were no 
reviews. Whereas in England (it came out in the same year) 
it was reviewed quite well by the main newspapers, and it 
was only crapped on by Dwight MacDonald in Encounter 
magazine, which was later revealed to be financed by the 

In December Diego Rivera died of prostate cancer. He 
had gone in the summer, I believe, or spring, to Russia for 
treatment there; he returned on a hot night with a photo- 
graph taken of him as he stood on the top step of the exit 
from the plane with a big cossack fur hat on. He pronounced 
that he was cured--something, I was told, which put the 
Russian embassy people in a tizzy because they had been 
advised that he wasn't cured. And he wasted away and died 
in December. 

The tribute to him by the people was extraordinary. 
Since his studio was so close, I went there in the morning 
and found it absolutely packed with people; and by midday, 
his body, in a casket, was on one of the levels of Bellas 
Artes, the very large building in which there was the concert 
hall for the Mexican philharmonic, and in which there 
were . . . [tape recorder turned off] ... in which there 


were several floors containing paintings and murals. It 
was the custom in Mexico that when someone very celebrated 
died, the body would be left in Bellas Artes in state for 
a day or two with an honor guard, and with the public 
having the right to walk past the body and view it. The 
honor guard was there and kept being changed every ten or 
fifteen minutes, and there were all the intellectuals of 
Mexico and ex-presidents and so on [who] were eager to 

take their place by the bier. During the middle of the 
day, the lobby of the very large building was full of 
well-dressed, important people who could afford to take off 
from their work and come there. But as the late afternoon 
came and the evening, the composition of the people on 
the line began to change. One began to see working people: 
women with children in their rebozos, because they had no 
one with whom to leave the little ones, and other little 
ones holding onto their hands; students with books; men 
coming from factories, which was very clear by the way they 
looked. And the line lengthened until it was not only down 
the whole of one block but around the side of another block, 
It was bitterly cold for Mexico: the temperature might 
have been, at that time, about twenty degrees. But when I 
left at eleven o'clock at night, the line still stretched 
way around to a second block. Nothing like this happens in 
the United States when an artist dies — and by artist I 
can include someone who works in the theater or a writer. 


There simply is no cultural tradition for that kind of an 
outpouring of people. 

GARDNER: The first thing that comes to my mind is Elvis 
Presley. But that's. . . . 

MALTZ: No, but that's good, that's good. Elvis Presley, 
that's all right. Because Elvis-- that ' s a very good point. 
Because in our country then, let's say, the death of someone 
like Presley has a meaning to people on a broad level. 
But it's interesting that an artist of Diego Rivera's 
greatness had that meaning to people in Mexico. Now the 
reason for it is, of course, that Diego Rivera was a 
muralist, and the murals spoke directly to people. The 
Mexican people who never would have thought of going into 
an art gallery were able to see the murals in parks, on 
buildings, and so on, and they did look at them and felt 
that he spoke to them. 

There was something amusing at Diego's funeral. He 
had two grown daughters: Ruth was a lawyer, I knew her, 
and she was a Communist like her father; Lupe, who was 
older (her full name was Guadalupe) , was very Catholic and 
very right-wing politically. And when it came to what 
would happen at the cemetery, Ruth had given permission for 
the Communist party to be very much in the forefront of 
events. I should mention that about three or four years 
before his death the Communist party had finally allowed 


Diego Rivera to rejoin, and he was very proud of this. And 
so Ruth, in accord, surely, with his wishes, had said that 
the Communist party could be present, that it could have 
a flag there, that it could have one of the speakers. But 
Lupe was ferociously against this, and so the two grown 
daughters had a screaming match in front of the spectators 
and in front of the newspaper people as to who would win 
out. And there was a compromise finally effected, and the 
funeral continued. Let me get some water. [tape recorder 
turned off] Yes. I think I might add that in the fight 
at the cemetery I seem to recall that there was a question 
of whether or not a priest would officiate or the leader 
of the Communist party. 

At the end of February of the next year, 1958, David 
Miller came down to Mexico to ask if I would interrupt 
Silver Nutmeg and revise another United Artists project 
that he had, Short Weekend , a melodrama set in Naples 
which had been written by John Wexley from a novel. Miller 
was not satisfied with the script. The movie was scheduled 
for production that summer. There were things that I felt 
I could contribute to it, and I worked every day and night 
for six weeks. And Miller went away satisfied, and I was 
paid $4,000, less agent's commission. I went back to the 
Silver Nutmeg research and to inventing the screenplay. 

Around this time Trumbo phoned me to ask if I wanted 
to do the screenplay on Howard Fast's Spartacus . He had 


been offered it, but he had too much other work, and I said 
I was already working on a screenplay and couldn't do it. . 
[sound interference — tape recorder turned off] And I 
remember Trumbo saying, "Take two, take four." I couldn't 
do that, although he was someone who did do that and was 
able to keep various screenplays going at the same time and 
various producers and directors satisfied. But since 
Spartacus finally was made and Silver Nutmeg wasn't, I'm 
afraid I made a bad choice. 

In mid-July my wife and daughter and I went up to 
Los Angeles. This was our first visit since leaving the 
United States in 1951. Now, it's relevant to mention that 
we went by plane to Tijuana, there hired a car and drove to 
Los Angeles. That is to say, we didn't fly directly into 
the United States. 

GARDNER: What about border checks? 

MALTZ: There was no border check, as a matter of fact, 
just went through. They said, "Are you American?" They 
could tell by our answer that we were. And I mention this 
because of something that happened later that I will talk 
about. In Los Angeles I went over the amount of story I 
had so far developed for Silver Nutmeg with Miller, and 
we were in agreement about it. He went off to Italy to 
do Short Weekend , and I settled in for further work on 
Nutmeg and to see friends. About ten days or two weeks 


later Miller returned, having called off the production 
because the actor that he had signed to use had gained a 
great deal of weight and was just impossible for the role, 
and Miller had no substitute at that time. 

Very shortly after my arrival in Los Angeles, the 
passport policy instituted by the State Department in 1950 
was upset by a series of cases appealed to the Supreme Court 
by Paul Robeson, Rockwell Kent, and a psychoanalyst in 
Los Angeles, Dr. Walter Briehl. I immediately applied for 
a passport, because my wife and I had wanted to go abroad 
if we could, and my request was rejected. This was merely 
an example of the kind of harassment that the passport 
office and the State Department went in for. I had to hire 
a firm of attorneys, [Victor] Rabinowitz and [Leonard] 
Boudin, who had handled these passport cases. They threatened 
suit--they filed a suit against the State Department, and 
the afternoon that they filed a suit, the State Department 
said they would grant me a passport. So it cost me an 
$800 fee for the attorneys and for filing and so on, and 
it's an excellent small example of what a government can 
do if it wants to be nasty toward its citizens. 

In late August there were some events in Mexico that 
had a personal bearing on me and my family. There was 
a students* strike because of an increase in bus fares. 
In Mexico City the buses were not owned by the city itself 


but were owned by different, individual companies. And there 
was a general increase of fares. Although the increase was 
seemingly quite small, perhaps only twenty or thirty 
centavos on a one-way ticket, this was important to students, 
a great many of whom worked. In Mexico City a student might 
go to classes at the university from seven till ten in the 
morning, having traveled by two buses, let's say, to get 
to the university. He then might go downtown by two more 
buses in order to work during the day, and then he would 
return to the university for classes in the evening, and 
then he would go back to his home. So that a twenty or 
thirty centavo charge on each bus fare might add up to five, 
seven pesos at the end of a week. 
GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ: And for a poor student that was a very significant 

The students proceeded to fight the increase in fare 
in an ingenious manner. A group of ten to twenty of them 
would get on a bus and tell the bus driver to drive to 
the university. If he did, nothing else happened; if he 
didn't want to, they could chuck him off the bus and drive 
the bus to the university themselves. At that time the 
university grounds were sacred — they no longer are--but 
then neither police nor soldiers could enter the university. 
So after the students had captured perhaps 40 or 100 buses, 


the situation became serious. The government, which had not 
faced any such situation before, decided in its hysteria to 
claim that the situation was caused by foreign agitators, 
among them American Reds. And I'm sure that part of this 
decision came from the American embassy because of what 
specifically happened. 

Three Americans, that I can recall, were deported. 
One was a businessman, Bernard Blasenheim, whom I didn't 
know and who apparently had no connection with politics. 
And I heard that someone who was a competitor of his had 
seen to it that he was deported. Two of them were men I 
did know. One was John Bright, the screenwriter, who had 
been resident there quite some years, and he was just picked 
up, taken to a holding place, and then taken by plane to 
Texas and dropped in some town without any money in his 
pocket. He was, I think, taken from his home. A second 
man was Allan Lewis, who had been teaching drama--he was 
essentially a teacher — he had been teaching drama at the 
National University. Some photograph of him had been taken 
and superimposed upon a group of students as though he were 
making a speech to them--which he had never done--and this 
appeared in the newspapers. He also was summarily deported. 

Now, as I learned, police came to my house on successive 
days. And the occupant of the house at that time was Helen 
Sobell, Morton Sobell's wife, and their young son. Sometime 


before I went to the United States, Morton Sobell's mother 
had come to Mexico. She had been on a fund-raising trip, 
and I believe she ended in Mexico just for a rest. I do 
remember driving her somewhere. I didn't have much contact 
with her, and I no longer recall how the arrangements were 
made for Helen Sobell to stay at our house while we were 
gone, but she was there for about six weeks. The Mexican 
newspapers proceeded to say the following about me: one, 
that I was a fugitive from the United States (even though 
at that time I was in Los Angeles, living in a hotel, tele- 
phoning people, seeing friends and so on); secondly, that 
the Mexican police, finding that I was not at home in Mexico, 
had put a watch on all border points to be sure that I 
didn't slip back into Mexico under an assumed name; three, 
that even though I had resided in Mexico continuously for 
seven years, I was the secretary of the American Communist 
party; and four, that Helen Sobell was residing in my home, 
which was a nest of spies. 

Well, the aftermath of this was that, although I had 
intended to stay in Los Angeles for a shorter period, I 
remained in the United States until the new president was 
inaugurated on December first, because I didn't want it to 
be the old regime. As soon as I got back, I got in touch 
with Gabriel Figueroa, who was not only a man of importance 
in Mexico but happened to be the cousin of the new president 


who was just elected, who had just come into office, a man 
whose name was Adolf o Lopez Mateos. And I wrote a letter 
which my attorney, Benito Noyola, revised in proper Spanish, 
stating what I was, what I had been doing, referring to 
my whole history, and saying that I was very willing to leave 
Mexico at any time that the Mexican government desired me to 
leave, but that I did not want to be deported because I 
didn't deserve it. And this letter was presented with the 
signatures of Figueroa and the director of the film I had 
worked on, [Roberto] Gavaldon, who in the meantime had 
become a deputy of the Congress. And I had no trouble after 
that from anything at all, but I always continued to carry 
cash and traveler's checks in case there was a switch. 

Along this time I met Oscar Lewis and became friendly 
with him and read some of his material in manuscript. I 
think I might mention about him something very unusual. 
Distinguished as he was in the field of anthropology, he 
was a disappointed opera singer. That was what he had 
always wanted to be, and even while he was down in Mexico 
doing his research, he still kept taking singing lessons. 
He was a very, very compulsive worker, with no ability 
whatsoever to relax. Even before I knew him particularly 
well, on impulse I once sat down and sent him a letter and 
said, "I don't care whether you ever want to talk to me 
again, but you're such a perfect candidate for a heart 


attack that I want to do my best to try and help you change 
a little bit." He took the letter very warmly, as a matter 
of fact, but he was too compulsive to change. He also had 
a tremendous compulsion to see his work on film, and I 
never really understood that. He used to telephone me about 
Children of Sanchez or other film possibilities right up 
until the time he died. And it's perhaps fortunate that he 
never lived to see what happened to Children of Sanchez when 
it was made into a film. I had warned him that his work 
wouldn't come out well, but he was blind to it. He was a 
very, very nice man, and he had an absolute genius for 
getting people to talk to him frankly. He won their confi- 
dence, and of course he never misused their confidence. 
But other people could have been as sincere as he and not 
have the particular qualities that he had that made people 
talk to him. 

At the beginning of December 1958 I started actual 
writing of the screenplay Silver Nutmeg . It was a project 
that I had started a year before but there had been 
interruptions. In February 19 59 I was due to make a 
speech at the [First] Unitarian Church in Los Angeles. 
This was a church headed by that extraordinary and admirable 
man Stephen Fritchman, and it had been a center of resistance 
to McCarthyism throughout the fifties. So that when I was 
asked to speak there, I decided I would come up to do so. 


I arrived in the afternoon of the night I was to make the 
speech (or afternoon of the day, I guess, on which I was 
to make the speech) , and I was told by the officer who 
examined my passport that he would like me to wait. 
He indicated a chair behind him in the office where I 
was to sit down. I immediately assumed that the FBI in 
Mexico had notified Los Angeles that I was coming up and 
that was why I had been stopped. And I had no idea what 
they were going to do about it, but after I had been kept 
there for about a half hour, until all of the other 
passengers had left the baggage area. . . . 


JANUARY 3, 1979 

GARDNER: Continue at the Los Angeles airport. 
MALTZ: After the other passengers had passed through 
customs, I was taken out and told to take everything 
out of my suitcase. I had a very large valpack and 
I took everything out. The customs inspector examined 
everything minutely. I had a little pouch in which I 
kept a Minox camera, and the pouch was opened and the camera 
was examined and so on. Then he said I could put the stuff 
back, and I put the stuff back, and we waited longer. I 
asked how long I would have to wait. The man said he didn't 
know. And more time passed, and then I was told to open 
the suitcase again, and this time not only was everything 
reexamined but the man started to look through the folders 
I had of my notes on Silver Nutmeg , because I had brought 
them up to talk with David Miller while I was there. 
And then he proceeded to go into folders, and I asked 
him whether he had the right to do that, and he said yes. 
And when he went into folders that carried correspondence, 
I again asked him, and he closed those folders and didn't 
look at them. It was a situation, of course, in which 
I was inwardly seething with anger and yet knew that the one 
thing I had to do was to keep my temper and not comport 
myself in any way that would enable them to make any charges 
against me. 


My friend George Sklar and his wife had come to pick 
me up at the airport, and I didn't know that he had called 
down to Ben Margolis, and that Margolis had called into 
the immigration service. And [it] was probably as a result 
of this, and as a result of their getting in touch with 
the FBI downtown and learning that there was no reason to 
hold me, that they finally let me go after about an hour 
and a half of detention. There is more to this that I'll 
tell about later. 

I made my speech at the church and stayed for a few 
days to talk over the Nutmeg material with David Miller. 
And then I was got in touch with by Ingo Preminger, Otto 
Preminger ' s brother. To my best recollection I had not known 
Ingo, and I don't recall now how he reached me--perhaps 
through Trumbo. But I saw him, and he told me that his 
brother was going to produce and direct Exodus , which was 
then a current best-seller, and would I be interested in 
the job. Of course, I said I would be. I had not read the 
book and I sat down to read it. I found it to be a mixture 
of high passion, which I liked, and of cheap writing in many 
sequences, which I didn't like. But I then had a meeting 
with Otto Preminger, and we talked about the story and 
agreed that I would work on it. I told him that I intended 
to go to Europe in April for a three-month visit and that 
I would include Israel now in my trip. He said that as long 


as he had the screenplay by the end of December it would 
be okay. 

I returned to Los Angeles and continued very intensive 
work on Silver Nutmeg . I was not quite finished with the 
last sequences when the time came in late March for me to 
start for Europe. Miller was in New York, and I wanted him 
to have the screenplay and, at the same time, I didn't 
want to run the risk of being stopped at the airport again 
and perhaps slapped with some phony charge that might 
prevent me from taking off to Europe. I had, in the 
meantime, learned from a friend that it was possible to go 
by train to Nuevo Laredo, and then to take a taxi across 
to Laredo where I would pass through customs and where he 
had done this without being stopped in any way. Then I 
would have to take a train to St. Louis and, from St. Louis, 
another to New York. It would be a long trip of, I think, 
three days and three nights, but it would accomplish what 
I wanted. 

During the time on the train, I would be able to 
finish the last sequence so that I could give the screenplay 
to Miller. And this was exactly what I did. And I slipped 
into New York and had the last sequence typed and gave it 
to Miller and took a train to Montreal. And from Montreal, 
we went off on our trip. 

It happened that I had block royalties in East Germany, 
Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Russia, and we had planned a 


trip that would be largely paid for by those royalties. 
Just one second. . . . [tape recorder turned off] In 
Israel our quick one-week look made me know that I needed 
more time for research, and I decided that I would return to 
Israel at the end of my trip. We had one experience that 
resulted in a book by my wife. 

We went to a kibbutz right close to the Gaza Strip; 
it was called Yad Mordechai. We had an English-speaking 
Israeli with us who worked in the Ministry of Information 
and who guided people around. A man we met, who was the 
gardener of the kibbutz, was also its librarian, and he 
proceeded to tell us the extremely dramatic story of the 
way in which the kibbutz had resisted the attack of three 
Egyptian brigades in the war of 1948, the war of independence, 
The Egyptians had had tanks, heavy artillery and planes, 
several planes, and the kibbutz had had, I think, 120 
fighting men with rifles and a few machine guns; and yet 
they had held up the Egyptians for three days and nights 
in their area, allowing forces to assemble for the defense 
of Tel Aviv. It was a very extraordinary story, but I 
didn't understand the reason why he told it to us in such 
detail. We discovered after we left that they had two 
books of mine in Hebrew in their library and that they 
had been looking for someone to write their story ever 
since 1948, that several Israeli writers had come down 
but it had not been worked out, and that he had told the 


story at that length in the hope of getting me interested 
in doing it. I was not interested in doing a nonfiction 
book, but it turned out that my wife got very intrigued 
by it and, during the course of the winter, thought about 
it a great deal and decided that she would do it if they 
would cooperate with her, because she wanted to interview 
every one of the survivors of that battle. She set up 
communication with one of the English-speaking members of 
the group, and, as we found out later, they had considerable 
discussion as to whether they wanted a non-Jew to write 
their story; but they finally decided that she would be 
acceptable. And so the following year she went back to 
do her research on it. 

Our next country we visited was East Germany where 
we had as our guide and companion Eberhard Briining. He 
is today Professor Doctor Briining. At that time he was an 
instructor at the University of Leipzig, which was renamed 
Karl Marx University. He had originally gotten in touch 
with me in the early fifties, when he was a graduate student, 
to ask data about my work and to ask me to send him some 
of my things. I did this, and we carried on a correspondence, 
because he eventually wrote his doctoral thesis on my work. 
And later he wrote a book about my work. 

In East Berlin I had a lot of royalties stored up. 
We were put into a once-celebrated hotel, the Adlon. I 


knew the name of the Adlon from various novels I had read. 
It was the posh hotel of Berlin in the Weimar Republic and 
then later even in the Hitler period. But now it was cut 
in half; it had been cut in half by artillery fire. I 
remember once walking down the hall from my room just to 
sort of explore the place, and I saw a door and opened it— 
and I opened it on empty air: there was about a forty-foot 
drop to the ground from where I was. The hotel looked out 
on the remains of Hitler's bunker where his headquarters 
had been in the whole last phase of the war and where he died, 
This had been hit by heavy artillery and perhaps dynamited 
as well, I imagine, so that there was an immense expanse 
of some acres in which there were mountains of rubble and 
huge stones--not stone, but pieces of concrete upturned and 
on end. It was an incredible scene of desolation — and yet, 
of course, fiercely dramatic because of what we knew had 
taken place there. 

At that time the government of East Germany had made 
a decision that I regarded even then as very foolish. They 
had decided not to build anything close to the border with 
West Berlin because they thought there was going to be 
the possibility of war and they didn't want to construct 
anything that would then be knocked down. So as a result, 
while they had swept the streets, the rubble was still 
everywhere for blocks. It was possible — since at that time 


there was no wall and people could walk freely from East 
to West, or could take an elevated train from East to 
West — it was possible for people to walk from the recon- 
structed west part of Berlin, which was all shiny and 
lovely with new buildings constructed with American money, 
and walk into what seemed an area of absolute desolation 
which was East Berlin. The fact that further to the east 
in the city they had built a great many new apartment 
houses, and so on, made no difference in terms of the 
impression that it would give visitors. 

I did find myself very moved by the fact that the 
editor of my publishing house, Schalike, and a theater 
director, Wolfgang Langhoff, who was the director of the 
current play Anne Frank , and who previously had directed 
the play Merry Go Round by George Sklar and myself — 
that these two men and others like them had been themselves 
in concentration camps. It seemed a token of the new 
regime in East Germany that there were dedicated antifascists 
in that position. I know that the head of the publishing 
house, a man called Schalike, had written a very warm and 
tender note to my wife just before I went to prison. And 
I was so struck to find him obviously a sick man after 
his years in a concentration camp, and indeed it was only 
about a year later that he died. 

I met Stefym Heym, who had been a refugee in the United 
States and had published novels here, and then had been a 


volunteer in the American army and after the war remained 
in East Germany. He was now in a fight with the East German 
government because they wouldn't publish a novel he had 
written about the 1954 antigovernment demonstration by 
German workers, by workers in Berlin. He previously had 
had a book published there which had been a great success, 
and they valued him as a citizen, but they wouldn't publish 
this book, and he wouldn't take it quietly. But in spite 
of that, there was apparently much more tolerance in 
East Germany then in the other socialist countries. Heym 
lived in a lovely private home full of antiques, and he 
had a motorboat on which he took us out on a beautiful, 
large lake which is part of the Berlin area. I must say 
I was impressed to see how many sailboats there were on the 
lake and how many boats, large boats, belonging to different 
trade unions were there, and it was certainly not a picture 
of a starving nation deprived of all pleasures. 

At Stefym Heym's home I met several people whom I 
hadn't seen since I left the States. One was Earl Robinson, 
my very good friend, who at that time was teaching music 
in a private school in Brooklyn. He was blacklisted, and 
he was now in Berlin because he had been invited to conduct 
several of his works with German orchestras. And I met 
Joris Ivens, the documentary film worker, filmmaker, very 
great at his role, who had been in the United States during 


the war years but had left when the war was over, and I 
hadn't seen him now for, oh, about thirteen years. 

I also met someone at his home with whom I was to 
become very considerably involved. This was a French 
singer by the name of Fania Fenelon. I learned that she 
had been in a women's orchestra in Auschwitz. I had not 
known that there was such a thing, and it intrigued me 
very much. She was going back to Paris very shortly after, 
and we intended to be in Paris so we arranged to meet when 
we came there. I wanted to learn more about it. 

I had a reunion there with our friends from Mexico, 
John Pen's widow, Erzi, now there under his name as 
Mrs. [Janos] Szekely, which had been his real name. Pen 
had died shortly before I came there. They had left Mexico 
around, oh, 1956, not willingly but because, as alien-born 
citizens of the United States, they could not remain 
out of the United States more than five years without 
returning or they would lose their citizenship. And so 
they had gone back to the States, but he had not been able 
to make a financial go of it. He couldn't get work in 
film, and so they had gone over to West Berlin to see if he 
could do some writing there, and he did a little but 
found that he could do more writing in East Berlin, so they 
had moved over to East Berlin. And then he had died. 
But at that time his daughter Kathy was acting the chief 


role in Anne Frank , which was done in the Deutches Theatre, 
the main theater in East Berlin, outside of Brecht's theater. 
And so we and Kathy and Erzi had a sad-glad reunion. 

I might say that there's enough that's wrong with a 
country like East Germany not to have to go in for lying 
about it. At that time, for instance, I read reports by 
American reporters about the lack of food in East Germany. 
But my personal experience was one of going into an ice cream 
parlor, or whatever they would call it over there, where 
my wife and daughter had ice cream with whipped cream in 
such quantities as obviously meant an abundance of milk and 
cream. And I also found out that doctors in East Germany 
were trying to get workers to cut down on the amount of 
butter they were using because of the incidence of heart 
attacks. So that it's just unfortunate to have stupid 
lies instead of the criticism that would have been valid. 

With a car and a chauffeur furnished by our publisher, 
we drove down to Leipzig. I must say that some of the 
untouched medieval towns of Germany are simply beautiful, 
as well as a great deal of the countryside. And there, 
in some of the small towns, we saw well-dressed people 
walking the streets on a Sunday with their children in 
new prams, and there was again no sense of a suffering, 
starving people. In Leipzig I spoke to the students at 
Briining's university, and I remember being taken to the 


church where Bach had played for many years. And then 
we went on to Dresden purely in order for us to see Ernesto 
Amann. He was the Austrian doctor who had been my physician 
in Cuernavaca. By about 19 . . . oh, '55 or '56, he was 
very eager to leave Cuernavaca because he felt that the 
practice of medicine, as he was doing it, was not what he 
really wanted to do. He wanted to practice social medicine 
instead of private, and, in addition, he had a marriage 
that he didn't want to continue. He tried at first to go 
to China, where he would have liked to practice, but found 
that he couldn't arrange that, and he did arrange to get 
to East Germany. So that by the time we came, he had been 
there about two years. We found that he had made an 
alliance with a German doctor, a woman who had also been 
in Spain, and that they wanted to be married. They had 
been living together, and, knowing that we were coming 
over, he had delayed his marriage until the day we arrived 
in Dresden so that we could be best man and woman there. 
And so we were. And then we went and had dinner at a very 
nice writers club across the river in Dresden and then 
walked around Dresden, went to a museum. Dresden was a 
terrible place to look at because immense areas of it were 
nothing but rubble carefully swept up, but no new building 
had gone up, and the results of the terrible bombing there 
were evident everywhere. 


That night, in their apartment, Ernesto began to 
talk to me about medical practices in the hospital where 
he worked which outraged him. He spoke of a patient who 
died because the doctor who was his (Ernesto's) superior 
insisted upon a certain type of treatment, and he, Ernesto, 
knew that it was wrong and even brought the doctor literature 
to show him. And the doctor said, "In this hospital, this 
is the way we do it." And he couldn't get past that 
Prussian stubbornness, as he called it, and he even felt 
that some of the doctors were ex-Nazis. He was immensely 
agitated over it, and, as he began to talk, he began to 
become incoherent. I didn't know then, as I learned later, 
that he had been in a psychiatric institution for some 
weeks, due to a breakdown, until just before we came. The 
knowledge that we were coming had enabled him to pull 
himself together and come out and act in a perfectly sane 
manner for most of the day in which we were there. But 
now, as he talked about these things that were agitating 
him so much, he began to go to pieces. And he pleaded 
with me to write to Khrushchev. He said that if I wrote 
to Khrushchev, Khrushchev would listen to me and would 
learn about these practices. We passed a very distressing 
several hours until, finally, we went to sleep. 

And I remember the next morning, when we left and 
said goodbye, his wife couldn't speak. She just stood 


in the doorway, weeping. I didn't understand then, since 
I didn't know he had been in an institution, the depth of 
what she was afraid of; but I did learn about a month after 
we came home when I received a letter from her that he had 
committed suicide. 

On our way back to Berlin we stopped at the concentration 
camp — we stopped first at Weimar, which was the home of 
Goethe, and then went above it some miles to a height on 
which there was the concentration camp of Buchenwald. 
Unlike many other concentration camps where the buildings 
are largely intact, the buildings at Buchenwald had been 
torn down: there was nothing but a very large, flat area. 
However, at the rear of that area, small buildings did 
remain where people had been executed. This was not a 
death camp with gas chambers where people were taken by 
the tens of thousands for killing. But it was a place 
where a good many men were shot in the back of the head 
and then cremated in ovens. Several ovens were there in 
a kind of a "museum" attached to it. I was very impressed 
to see the photographs of individual Germans, or small 
groups of Germans, who had been arrested and executed for 
anti-Nazi activity during the war. They were young 
people, and it was obvious that they had not been organized 
Communists or Socialists before the war, but they had just 
moved into antifascist activity because of their loathing 


for what was going on. I was very impressed also by the 
large contingents of schoolchildren who were present when 
we were there, and I learned that every schoolchild of a 
certain age in East Germany was brought to one concentration 
camp or another to teach them what fascism had meant. 

We went on then to Prague, where we were met by my 
old friend Hans Burger and his wife, Puck. I forget whether 
I mentioned earlier who Hans Burger was. He was a Czech, 
a young Czech film man, who came to the United States as 
a refugee around 19 38 with a film that he had worked on 
called The Lights Are Going Out in Europe . We became 
friendly and were in touch until the time that I went to 
Hollywood. I am sure that in some way we got in touch 
before — I know that there was some way in which we got 
in touch again before we came to Prague because he met us 
at the plane with his wife, who was a German girl. I'll 
tell about her for a moment. 

Hans was a combat photographer with the U.S. Army, 
and at a certain point he was in Munich, I believe, doing 
a film about what had been known by Germans about the 
concentration camps. He was filming in an office with a 
large group of industrialists and one secretary, who was 
this young, pretty girl, Puck. He asked questions, and 
all of the industrialists were denying that they knew 
anything about the concentration camps. At a certain point 


the girl jumped up and said, "You, Herr so-and-so, who 
lived in Weimar, didn't know that right above there was 
the concentration camp of Buchenwald? You are a liar!" 
And she went down the line of the other people, calling 
them all liars. And Hans said, "And I married her." She 
was a lovely, lovely girl. 

As we drove from the airport, Hans told a story of 
what had happened to him during the war. He said that when 
his outfit came very close to Prague, he found it absolutely 
insupportable not to know whether the old city of Prague, 
which was so beautiful, had been damaged. And so at a 
certain time, without permission from his superiors, he 
commandeered a jeep and drove himself into Prague. He drove 
in a certain way so that when he turned around a wall he 
would see the old city. And as he finished his story, he 
drove his car around that same wall and we saw with him 
the beautiful Charles Bridge over the river there. It's 
a spectacularly lovely sight, and Hans said that when he 
saw that, saw that it had not been touched by artillery fire 
or bombing, he just burst into tears. And the old city of 
Prague is just magnificent. 

At that time my play Black Pit was being performed in 
one of the theaters of Prague, the Realistic Theatre, and 
it was very pleasant to go there and to see it done. And 
although, of course, I couldn't follow the language, I knew 
the story and I could see that the quality of the ensemble 


acting was very good indeed. I might mention that one 
of the best actors was a man named Walter Taub, who was 
also a distinguished film actor, and he now is one of those 
who is without work in Czechoslovakia because he was a 
part of the Prague Spring [1968] that sought to reform 
the country. [tape recorder turned off] 

A man with whom I had a reunion was Francis, or 
Frantistek, Vrba. He was a literary critic, literary 
and cinema critic, who had translated Black Pit . He 
previously had come through Los Angeles around the year 
1949 when he was cultural attache to the Czech embassy 
in Washington. He was a man who had been in, I think it 
was, nine different Nazi work camps. He was arrested 
for anti-Nazi activity as a youth of about seventeen and 
put into these work camps — not sent to Auschwitz because 
he was not a Jew. And when he came out, he weighed ninety 
pounds — but survived it. And when he came through Los 
Angeles, he looked me up, and I found him to be a most 
personable and charming man, and I was glad to make 
his acquaintance again in Prague. I will mention about 
him that he too was a member of the Prague Spring. In 
his case he was sent to prison in 1968 by the Czech 
government that came after [Alexander] Dubcek was kicked 
out. I know that after about a year or so he was allowed 
out of prison, and I had the very briefest exchange of 


cards with him. I think he may be working as a day 

We also visited the concentration camp of Terezin 
(it has a longer name in Czech) , and it figured considerably 
in the TV film of Holocaust . It was an unusual concentration 
camp in that it had an outward show of being a normal 
community and was used to fool the Red Cross when they sent 
inspection delegations; but behind the facade, there 
was misery and death. 

We next came into Warsaw, which was a miracle of 
rebuilding because, after the uprising in Warsaw by the Polish 
nationalists in 1944, Hitler had ordered that the city be 
razed — and it was. Everything in it was destroyed, so much 
so that after the war the question was raised as to whether 
or not it should be left as it was and a new city built 
further up the river, the river Vistula. But it was finally 
decided that what was underground, that is, the pipes, 
the sewers, and so on, were so important in the building 
of a city that it was better to clear the rubble out and 
rebuild. And the rebuilding, by the time we came, was 
extraordinary, because, unlike a city like Dresden, 
one saw no rubble; there were only well-built buildings. 
And miraculously, there was a section called Old Town 
built around a square, and the old designs for it had been 
found, and so all of the buildings were restored on the 


outside exactly as they had been since medieval times, 
excepting that now they had proper plumbing and electricity 
and so on. It was very beautiful. 

Of course we saw our friends the Liebers, and at that 
time they had only been there about three years — no they'd 
been there four years. And Lieber was functioning well 
in several publishing houses, and his wife was studying 
at the university to get a Ph.D. so that she could teach, 
and they had a nice apartment. They were able to use 
funds that they had to buy things from England and the 
U.S. so that they had clothes and various foods that 
they could enjoy, and they had a car. At that time they 
thought it was very nice there. 

I had an evening with my publisher there, and he told 
me something that I have never forgotten because it was so 
revelatory. He had been a colonel in a Polish division 
attached to the Russian army and . . . 
GARDNER: What was his name? 
MALTZ: I'm not sure, let me. . . . 
GARDNER: No, we can put that in later. 

MALTZ: All right. I'll have to try and look it up. (His 
name was Burgin.) I think he may be in the United States, 
I'm not sure. Oh I don't know . . . no, no, no, no, he's 
there on a . . .1 don't know. I know that he is no longer 
a publisher, because he was Jewish, and he. . . . 


Anyway, I told him my bewilderment about the manner 
in which various of the old Russian Bolsheviks had confessed 
to all sorts of crimes they had not committed — my confusion 
about their behavior. Because I said that if I had been 
in their position, I would have known that my life was 
over, and I would have said, "No, I'm not guilty of any of 
these things. Shoot me if you want, but I'm not going to 
tarnish myself before the world, I've been an honest man." 
And he said, "Well, let me tell you a story — " Oh, he said, 
"let me explain about that." He said, "In the first 
place, there were many who said that, and they were just 
shot out of hand. They never came to trial." He said, 
"For instance, I know that shortly before Stalin's death, 
an assistant secretary of the foreign ministry was suddenly 
arrested. And he was brought before a military tribunal 
who demanded that he confess to a crime, and he refused 
and he said, • I am a Communist, and you men up there are 
fascists, and someday the party will catch up with you. ' 
And he was shot. And he said there were others who were 
promised that if they would confess, the party would see 
to it that they would remain under house arrest for a few 
years and then they would be rehabilitated. And they 
believed it, and they did as they were asked and then they 
were shot." And he said, "And there was another method. 
And let me tell you a story about it." 


He said, "A leading member of the central committee 
of the Communist party was arrested and brought to a cell 
in which there were a good number of people. And there 
are calls to him, they say, 'Hello, so-and-so, so you're 
here now, huh? 1 And he replied to them, 'Don't talk to 
me. You're counterrevolutionaries, you're Trotskyites, 
and I am a Communist, and I don't want to have anything 
to do with you!' And they responded, 'Well, if that's 
how you feel, okay. ' A little while later he was taken 
down to a cellar room in which there was a very young, 
strong man in uniform who had obviously not gone through 
anything of the history of the Communist movement that he 
had. And the man, the interrogator, said to him, 'What's 
your name?' And he said, 'My name is so-and-so.' And the 
interrogator said, 'Look, I want the truth now. I want 
to know what your name is.' He replied, 'Well, comrade, 
everybody knows me. I'm a member of the central committee, 
I've been a member of the party for so many and so many 
years, my name is such and such.' And the interrogator 
looked at him for a moment, and then said, 'This is the 
last chance you're going to have. I want to know what your 
name is.' And the central committee man said, 'Well, what 
can I tell you except what I've told you before? My name 
is so-and-so. ' Whereupon the interrogator got up, standing 
a foot above the central committee member, and hit him and 


knocked him down. The man was terribly shaken, and the 
interrogator goes back to his chair and sits down and 
says, 'Get up! * The man gets up slowly, and the interrogator 
says, 'What's your name?' And the man doesn't know what 
to answer. And he says, 'Come on, what's your name?' The 
man says, 'I can't tell you anything except what I've told 
you. My name is such and such.* The interrogator gets 
up, and hits him again and knocks him down. And he looks 
down at him, and he says, 'I'll tell you what your name is. 
Your name is shit. ' And he goes back to his seat and he 
says, 'Get up. Come forward. Now, what is your name?" And, 
trembling, the man looks at him. And the interrogator 
says, 'What is your name?' And the man answers, 'My name 
is shit.' He's taken back to the cell, and he cries out, 
•Comrades, what's going on here? What's happening?' And 
they say, 'Oh, now you call us comrades!'" [laughter] 
And this was a symbolic example of one of the ways in which 
men were finally led to confess to anything that the 
police wanted them to say. Of course other methods were 
used and are best presented by the novel Conf ess --not the 
novel, the autobiography Confession by Artur London, the 
Czech who was one of the men in the 1952 trials in Czecho- 
slovakia who was imprisoned and sentenced to death; but 
later it was commuted, and he was let out. And that 
was the explanation of what happened in these trials. 


Isn't it incredible and shocking? 

GARDNER: It really is. 

MALTZ: Isn't that a story? 

GARDNER: My tape's just about out, so I think we should, 

MALTZ: All right. 


JANUARY 9, 19 79 

T1ALTZ: From Warsaw we went on to Moscow, and I'd like 
just a few quick comments before I tell the one important 
thing that's relevant to this oral history. I found that 
I had had in my mind an image of Moscow that came out of 
Dostoyevsky and other Russian materials, and I was not 
prepared to see a city with the broadest avenues I've ever 
been to. It's relevant to mention, because of something 
that I'll discuss later, that I was given royalties by my 
publishing house there of 17,000 rubles. [tape recorder 
turned off] I was given royalties of 17,000 rubles for 
one edition of 100,000 copies of The Cross and the Arrow . 
I mention it because it became a key for my figuring out 
a rate of royalties later when I needed to do that. 

One of the people I met there was a man by the name 
of Lev Kopelev. His wife who--he is a literary man, a 
translator who specializes in German literature--and his 
wife is a critic and a translator of English materials. 
Her name was Raya Orlova. They talked to me very freely 
about themselves, and Lev told the following story. 

In World War II he had been the political commissar 
of a Latvian division. And when their division entered 
Germany, the soldiers began to pillage and rape. Kopelev. 
went indignantly to his military commander and said that, 


no matter what the Germans had done to the Russians, it 
was simply not behavior that any Russian army should indulge 
in, that this was absolutely forbidden. He was arrested, 
and he was charged with slandering the army and with 
"bourgeois humanism." He was put on trial before a 
military judge. (At the time he was put on trial, various 
members of his Communist party group in the division sent 
a telegram to Stalin because they believed that if Stalin 
knew what was happening, he would interfere. I mention 
this in passing as a wonderful example of the delusion 
of the Russian people about Stalin) . And the judge 
declared him innocent of the charges. That judge was then 
dismissed and Kopelev was rearrested, and another judge 
was appointed, and he held Kopelev guilty and gave him 
three years. And that judge was dismissed, and another 
judge was appointed, and there was a third trial, and he 
was given ten years and he served them. Now, his comment 
to me was that the way he had felt about it all through the 
ten years in a prison labor camp was that if he was on a 
train and the train was going in the right direction and 
the conductor threw him off the train, it still didn't mean 
that the train wasn't going in the right direction. Later 
he changed. Let's shut off for a moment. [tape recorder 
turned off] 

Now, at the time that I met him, I didn't know his 
surname. I assumed that it was the same name as his wife's, 


which was Orlova. If I knew then what I now know about 
the endings of Russian surnames, I would have known that 
that was impossible because Orlova was a feminine ending 
in Russian. Now, over the years, as I started to follow 
what was happening to Solzhenitsyn, I read of a Lev Kopelev 
who had been in — oh, did I make clear earlier that I knew 
him only as Lev? 

GARDNER: No, I don't recall. . . . 

MALTZ : Oh, well then, I've missed my point here. I called 
him Lev Kopelev, but when I met him ... I first met his 
wife, who was Raya Orlova, and she introduced me to her 
husband Lev. 
GARDNER: I see. 

MALTZ: And I never knew a different surname, so that 
the name Kopelev, which I give him now, is not one that I 
knew him by. And over the years I read of a Lev Kopelev 
who had been in prison with Solzhenitsyn and was the model 
for the character of Rubin in Solzhenitsyn' s book The First 
Circle . I also read that it was Kopelev who had taken the 
manuscript of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich to 
the editor of the magazine that first published it. And at 
another point I read that Lev Kopelev had had certain 
manuscripts of Solzhenitsyn in his possession to hide them 
and protect them. But it was not until 1976 that I 
discovered that the Lev I had met and corresponded with 
over the years was Lev Kopelev — that they were the same man. 


I learned this because I had a letter forwarded to 
me by a reporter from a leading newspaper, who was returning 
from Moscow, and he had a letter for me from Raya. I wrote 
to her in reply but I've never had an answer. 

I looked Kopelev up and discovered that in 1962, which 
was only three years after I met him, he was attacked for 
defending the right of Soviet artists to develop abstract 
techniques. And in 1966 he wrote in behalf of two writers, 
[Andrei] Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, who were imprisoned for 
an offense I will discuss in a moment. And he signed a 
petition urging their release. As a result, he was expelled 
from the party and dismissed from the Institute of Historical 
Sciences. Also, some of his books previously approved 
for publication were removed from the publication list. 
About the same time in 1976 that I got the letter from 
Raya, I read some newspaper reports on him which indicated 
that he was in a dangerous political position in the 
Soviet Union, and also that he had coronary trouble and 
had been in and out of hospitals. For whatever help it 
might be, I wrote an article about him which was published 
in the L.A. Times on April 22, 1977. I want to read the 
last sentence of it. In the article I discuss the fact 
that Kopelev had published a book which was now in English, 
and I will say in passing that something very unfortunate 
happened to it in its U.S. publication. It was a book of 


over 700 pages, and it was cut down in half so that it is 
very fragmentary indeed and not satisfactory as a book. 
I said: "Kopelev has written his autobiography and smuggled 
it out to the West in manuscript. Had he been able to find 
a publisher in his own country, he would not have needed 
to seek foreign publication in this clandestine way. He 
borrowed the title for his book from the stamp placed by 
the Soviet secret police on the dossiers of all political 
prisoners, 'To Be Preserved Forever. 1 " Isn't that an extra- 
ordinary title and concept? I had never heard that before 
and never seen it written about. In all the data on the 
Soviet Union no one ever came up with that. 
GARDNER: Right. 

MALTZ: So far as I know from any reading, he is still at 
liberty. I might say that not only I but others who have 
met them, like Lillian Hellman, regard them as just simply 
marvelous people. 

In Moscow, I met Angus Cameron, my friend and former 
editor at Little, Brown, for the first time in about ten 
years, and discovered, to my great pleasure, that he had 
just been hired as an editor at Knopf — which was a sign 
of changing times. And I also met Corliss Lamont, whom 
I had never known before. I used the opportunity to talk 
with both of them about the question of the failure of the 
Soviet Union to ask permission of any foreign writers when 


it published their works. At this time, as a legitimate 
complaint against the Soviet Union but also, in part, as 
a political weapon for some people, there was a demand 
that the Soviet Union pay royalties to authors. Now, there's 
a long history to this that I won't go into except to say 
that the new Soviet state in 1917, and in the twenties and 
thirties, simply didn't have the money to pay royalties. 
It wasn't even recognized by a country like the United 
States, and yet it wanted to publish books for its people. 
And so I regard with sympathy its failure to pay royalties 
at that time. But the times had changed by 19 59, and 
I took the position that even if it still could not 
afford to pay hard currency royalties, one thing that it 
could do with authors was to write to them and ask per- 
mission to publish their books, and explain that they could 
not at this time pay royalties, but that if any writer 
came to the Soviet Union, they would be glad to give them 
royalties in rubles, which was already their practice. I 
also believed that it would be pleasing to writers, and 
their due, if the Soviet editors also kept them informed 
of the number of copies printed, and perhaps of any book 
reviews, and of reactions of readers. I urged Cameron 
and Lamont, who both were seeing various people around 
in the establishment, to try and push this idea. So that 
we had a little . . . what's called a fraction working in 
the Soviet Union on this point. 


Well, the result of my discussion of this with the head 
of my publishing house and with various critics was that 
a meeting was arranged between me and the assistant 
minister of culture. Just at that time there was some 
top-level political thing going on in Moscow, and it was 
explained to me that the assistant minister was taking 
his lunch hour to talk to me . I was taken by my translator 
to an old czarist palace, which was now the headquarters, 
apparently, for the Ministry of Culture, and there I met the 
head of my publishing house and his assistant, and I noticed 
with some dismay their nervousness at the fact they were 
going to see the assistant minister of culture. Several 
times each of them whipped out a comb to comb his hair, 
and they straightened their ties, and they shifted their 
jackets, and it didn't feel good to me. 

We finally went up a long stairway and into a very large 
room which must have been a ballroom at one time, and 
there, sitting at a desk, was the assistant minister with 
a translator and someone else, I forget all of it. I was 
introduced to him and waited for the moment to talk. 
When it came, I began to explain my position to him, and 
I don't think I had spoken for as much as fifteen seconds 
when he interrupted me with the assertion that American 
authors ought to be happy that the Russians publish their 
work for Russian workers, and with that he launched into 


an uninterrupted talk for perhaps ten minutes. And when 
he was through, I was through and I was ushered out. He 
had not heard what I came to ask him to consider at all, 
and I could not have received a better example of Soviet-- 
I could not have experienced a better example of bureau- 

GARDNER: You never tried to break in or . . . 

GARDNER: . . . say a few words on your behalf? 
MALTZ: I don't remember anymore. I might have. But 
there was such a kind of imperial flood of talk, this man 
lecturing me, and just by nature I'm not, let's say, a 
rough-and-tumble fighter in conversation where I would 
just . . . I . . . you know. I was waiting politely for 
him to finish and give me an opportunity; but when he 
finished, the interview was over. That was it. 

I never got to Leningrad because of illness on the 
part of both my wife and daughter, and I went next to 
London. The only thing I will mention there is that Paul 
Robeson was playing Macbeth at Stratford-on-Avon. I went 
up to see the play and to see him, and I saw him before 
the performance. He had changed since the last time I had 
seen him by gaining a good deal of weight. He now had 
considerable weight around his middle, and his face had 
gotten quite round. But he was full of buoyancy about the 
future. He told me about an Australian tour that had been 


offered him, and that now he could go back and sing in 
the United States any time he wanted to. It was quite 
a surprise to me to learn, I guess about two years later 
(I'm not absolutely sure, it may only have been one year 
later) , that he was ill and in a sanitorium. I discovered 
from friends that what had happened was that Robeson had 
gone into a very serious depression--f rom which he never 
recovered. This was hidden by members of his family and 
by friends from the public, but this is what happened to 
Robeson. And from '61 until his death in, I guess, '77, 
he never appeared in public other than in one brief period 
when he made a kind of recovery and made a bit of a tour, 
a bit of a speaking tour with his wife Eslanda. I was in 
the audience when he appeared at the Unitarian church in 
Los Angeles. He spoke very differently than in previous 
years, and I was very sorrowful. I know that my friend 
Earl Robinson told me of meeting with some others at his 
home in Philadelphia in the late sixties and trying to 
cheer him up by having a songfest, but he just sat in a 
depressed state and couldn't respond. I'll just say, in 
parting, that I think he is one of the few geniuses that 
I've met in the course of my life. 

After London I went back to Paris for a few days and, 
there, had some intensive talks with Fania Fenelon. She 
had been in the French Resistance and, after her arrest, 
was sentenced to death but in order to save herself said 


that she was Jewish; and thereupon they said, "Well, we'll 
handle you some other way," and they sent her to Auschwitz. 
And there. . . . 

GARDNER: That's sort of an odd line in order to save 

MALTZ: Yes, well. . . . 

GARDNER: Did she honestly. . . ? She was just really 
postponing, she thought, I suppose. . . . 

MALTZ: No, no, she was advised to say that by someone in 
the group with whom she was with: say you're Jewish, and 
they won't shoot you. Now, I don't know — I know that that 
was not a regular rule, because I've met other members of 
the Resistance who said that Jews found with weapons on them 
were shot just like anyone else. But in her case, she did 
say that after having been sentenced to be shot, she was sent 
to Auschwitz. Now in fact, this blue-eyed girl was 
half-Jewish, I think — I know . I don't think ... I think 
one of her parents was not Jewish. And in Auschwitz, after 
a little while she became a member of the women's orchestra. 
I might explain that the Nazis used an orchestra both in 
the men's and women's camp for two purposes: one was to 
play marching songs when those prisoners who went to work 
outside the camp marched out and also when they marched 
back at night; the other was to play music of a sort of a 
light classical variety for the SS guards when they wanted 


recreation. For instance, after a train came in with 
new prisoners and they were separated--a portion to go 
into the camp and a portion to go immediately into the 
gas chambers— some of the guards might come in and say 
they were tired and they wanted to hear some music. And 
the orchestra would play for them. For a certain period, 
the conductor of the orchestra was herself a professional 
musician, Anna Mahler, the niece of Gustav Mahler, the 
composer. She died in Auschwitz. I told Fania that I 
hope to work on this material. I had the screenplay of 
Exodus to write first, and I hoped to return to work with 

Oh, another thing that happened then was that I had 
a reunion with Jules Dassin, with whom I had been in 
correspondence for a number of years, and he was then new 
in his relationship with Melina Mercouri, who was later to 
become his wife. He was then separated from his first wife. 
At that point, Margaret went home, Margaret and my daughter 
went home, and I went back to Israel to do some intensive 
work for Exodus . 

In Israel, where I had the assistance of some top-level 
people as a result of Otto Preminger's connections, I 
found that many of the main sequences in the book of 
Exodus , in the book written by [Leon] Uris, were phony. 
For instance, he has a very important section where quite 
a number of Jews on the island of Cyprus are taken off 


by the Jewish underground to a boat in a certain harbor. 
Well, that particular harbor that he spoke of could not 
take anything but very small boats. And so I learned from 
Israelis what actually happened in the very incidents that 
Uris used. 

After about ten days of this, I had a very long meeting 
with Preminger, who had come to Israel, in which I told 
him of my findings, and I told him of my proposal to 
change sequences in the story so that they would be accurate, 
And he was in complete accord with my doing this. Either 
at this time or later, in Mexico, he told me that he 
wanted to put my name on the screen, and there was some 
question about whether or not the United Artists executives 
would agree to this; and if not, he felt that there could 
be a compromise in not announcing it beforehand but just 
having my name appear on the screen. Of course I was very 
pleased about this, because I thought it would mean the 
ending of the blacklist or the beginning of the end of it, 
for everyone. 

I returned to Mexico via an Air France flight, and 
this flight had a normal refueling stopover in New York 
for two hours. It was the custom for all passengers who 
had people they wanted to see in New York to first pass 
through customs inspection, and then they could freely 
visit before the flight took off again. But I ran into 


this book in the customs office, and I was detained for 
an hour and a half before they let me out. I had my brothers 
outside waiting, and it was something I was very angry about. 
This is perhaps a point to mention the kind of thing that 
can happen and that doesn't get into the newspapers. One 
of my friends in Mexico, a painter and teacher by the name 
of Francisco Mora, had gone to Guinea in Africa with another 
friend for a teachers conference. And I think he had gone 
by Air Canada and so had avoided the United States; but 
for some reason or another, on his return flight there had 
to be a stop at LaGuardia. He was taken off the plane, 
he and his friend, and put into a large automobile. It 
was nighttime, and I think it was for about three hours, 
with another automobile following them, they were driven 
around the LaGuardia area at very rapid speeds, with the 
brakes suddenly being put on so that they were thrown forward 
and sideways, and this went on and on for almost all of 
the three hours--every attempt being made to get them to 
lose their heads and perhaps try to jump out of the car, 
at which point they could be arrested for trying to escape 
from customs, or do something violent to the driver. At 
the last they were left for about one half-hour just 
sitting in a gas station in the LaGuardia area without the 
drivers there, in the hope that maybe they would make a 
break for it. And both men were very disciplined and 


supported each other and did nothing, and finally they 
were put back on the plane and allowed to go to Mexico. 

Shortly after my return, I opened a correspondence 
about this thing that occurred at airports with me with 
Ben Margolis and questioned him about whether or not 
there might be some legal action on this. I also wrote to 
I. F. Stone, who had visited me in Mexico — or had visited 
Mexico and had come to see me shortly after my return 
from Paris--and I had forgotten to talk to him about it 
while he was there. I wrote him asking if it was something 
that he wanted to discuss in his bulletin. Ben Margolis 
felt that there would be some real point in a legal suit, 
and I asked him to go into the costs of it, which he did. 
I then decided to postpone it until after Exodus was 
finished because I didn't want anything legal happening 
that would be in the paper and might interfere with my 
getting my name on the film. And subsequent to that, I 
finally decided not to do it because the costs were too 
high, I felt, for me to undertake. 

I worked very intensively on the planning and research 
for Exodus , and then began to write the screenplay. 
Preminger visited me in mid-September to hear the plot, and 
I told him the plot from beginning to end, and he was 
delighted with it and tremendously moved. At several points 
he asked me to pause because he had to wipe tears from his 


eyes, and I mention this for a reason that will become 
clear in a moment. 

GARDNER: You'd made substantial changes from the 
novel though. 

MALTZ: Yes. What I did, for instance — the changes were 
not in the story line--but instead of having a phony escape 
to a ship in a harbor which couldn't take such a ship, I 
did what they actually did in Cyprus : they prepared 
tunnels for a breakout; so I would do that kind of thing. 
Or there was a breakout in the story from a prison at 
Acre, and I talked with some men who engineered the 
breakout in the prison and found that it had been done 
dif ferently--as a matter of fact, with much more excitement 
than in the novel, but there was still the breakout. So 
I did the breakout actually through a Turkish bathhouse, 
which they used, which was adjacent to the prison. I did 
it that way. So I didn't change the general line of the 
novel in any way; I just made the incidents authentic where 
they had not been. 

And so I was working along with great intensiveness 
and great excitement, and around Christmas, when I was 
finishing the last sequence, I got a phone call from Otto, 
with no prior preparation, saying, "I'm sorry, but I don't 
know what kind of a screenplay you're writing. It's a 
sort of a travelog about Israel, but it isn't what I want. 


And I may be making a mistake, but I've decided not to 
use your screenplay and to hire another writer. I'm 
hiring Dalton Trumbo." This was, of course, an absolute 
thunderbolt. There was no relationship between what he 
called a travelog and the plot which had moved him to tears, 
and it was the same plot. And my subsequent surmise about 
what may have happened was this. The novel was an immense 
international best-seller, and it may be that, as Otto 
got the sequences of my screenplay which I was mailing up 
to him, he decided that the audience would come into 
the theater expecting certain actions, like people escaping 
in a ship, and they wouldn't get that in the film, and 
that they would be disappointed. He may have been right 
about that; but the point is, why didn't he know that in 
advance? Well, perhaps one can't blame him. He didn't 
know in advance, and he finally recognized it, and he 
didn't take it up with me by saying, "Look, this is the 
problem. How about rewriting it even though you know 
it's phony in the way it was in the book?" If he had done 
that, I might have decided to do it or I might not have. 
But it was never something that we came to grips with. 

So in retrospect, this was a very unfortunate happening 
for me personally. If, for instance, I had sat down after 
he hired me and written a script based upon the book without 
ever having gone to Israel, Exodus would have come out in 


the way it did, and I would have been on the screen, and 

it would have changed my whole career. But this is what 


GARDNER: When Trumbo did the screenplay, he really did 

it. . . ? 

MALTZ: He did it from the book. Yes, he did it from 

the book. — which I could have done, too. 

GARDNER: Right. [laughter] 

MALTZ: In 1960 Margaret and I were planning a return 

to Europe in May. First we were going to Israel because— 

oh, I don't know if I mentioned that she wanted to. . . . 

Over the months from our leaving Israel, she had decided 

that she would like to write the story . . . 

GARDNER: You mentioned that last time. 

MALTZ: ... of kibbutz, yes, Yad Mordechai. And so 

she set up correspondence and there was agreement. So 

we were going to Israel to get her set up there, and then 

I was going to go on to Paris to work with Fania Fenelon 

getting material for her story. 

Early in April I got a call from the lawyer of Frank 
Sinatra, Martin Gang, asking me if I knew a book called 
The Execution of Private Slovik , by William Bradford Huie . 
And I didn't know it. He sent the book down to me. I 
read it at once — oh, he said Sinatra wanted to make this 
film; he didn't want to act in it, but he wanted to direct 


it, and he wanted to know whether I was interested 

in doing the screenplay. I read the book and I was very 

much interested in doing the screenplay. But there 

was an important question about it because I did not 

agree with the author's interpretation of his own material; 

I couldn't agree with his conclusions, and I didn't 

know whether Sinatra would agree with mine. So they asked 

me to come up, and I came up and saw Sinatra for the first 

time in, oh, I guess, twelve, thirteen years, and we 

discussed the book. 

Now, this was the account of the life of a man, 
[Eddie] Slovik, who was the only American shot for desertion 
from the army since the Civil War (although there had in 
fact been thousands upon thousands of deserters in World 
War I and World War II, but no one had ever been shot 
for it). Huie's conclusion was that this was an obvious 
miscarriage of justice that he should have been the only 
one shot. But I looked at it differently from his own 

It so happened that Slovik' s desertion was not one 
of emotional panic which occurred in the middle of an 
action. He had come to Europe, and shortly after coming 
near the battle zone, he had been close to some shelling 
for a little bit, and he had decided that he was simply 
not going to serve. And so he did something unusual. 


He wrote a note to the army authorities saying that he 
was going to desert, and if they sent him to the front 
lines, he would desert. When he did this, it was just at 
the time when there was the Battle of the Bulge, and the 
position of U.S. troops in that sector was very bad; there 
was great danger of a German breakthrough. And Slovik's 
attitude seemed so brazen to the high command at that 
particular time that they felt they couldn't overlook it. 
As one general said (it may have been Eisen--no, it wasn't 
Eisenhower . . . another one) , "If I let Slovik go without 
a court-martial, I won't be able to look in the face of 
those poor guys out there who are lying in foxholes in 
the mud and the cold and getting wounded and killed." 
And when Slovik was court-martialed, the men who 
were his judges were not West Pointers, they were civilians 
in uniform. And on the first ballot they all voted for 
death, and when they found out what they had done, they 
were shocked, and they said, "Well, wait a moment, let's 
think this over and take another ballot. " And they talked 
about it and took another ballot, and they all voted the 
same way. I believe, I'm not sure, that they took a third 
ballot. But it was under these circumstances that Slovik 
was shot. And, for me, the villain in this was not the 
United States Army, it was war. It was the whole concatenation 
of circumstances which had brought him to do what he did, 


and the army to do what it did, and I just felt that I 
would not indict the army; I would not follow Huie's 

Well, Sinatra agreed with this, and we discussed it 
further and arrived at complete agreement about how to 
handle this. He told me that there was a young actor on 
TV that he thought would be very good in the role. He told 
me his name: it was [Steve] McQueen. I said I didn't 
know anything about American TV, but I'd try to catch him 
in a program, and Sinatra told me which one he was on, 
and I looked at it and said, oh, yes, I think he would be 
fine for the role. [laughter] Sinatra told me that he 
wanted to announce to the public that he had hired me. 
In the case of Trumbo, Preminger had announced that Trumbo 
had done the screenplay of Exodus , and it was a fait 
accompli . But Sinatra didn't want to do that: he wanted 
to announce it in advance. He said it was very important 
to him, and he'd thought about it a long time, and that if 
the American Legion didn't like it, that was too bad, 
that he had hated the American Legion from the time he was 
a kid and that they would run into the goddamnedest buzz saw 
that they ever had seen. 

Well, I was of course very happy about this. I felt 
that with Trumbo now announced as having been hired, and 
that with me hired, the blacklist would be over for everyone. 


I got a call from Martin Gang asking who my agent was, 
and even though Ingo Preminger had been my agent on Exodus 
and I liked Ingo very much, I thought this was an opportunity 
to bring in another blacklisted person, and I gave as my 
agent George Willner, who was an old friend but who had 
never been my agent. Willner had been blacklisted around 
'51, but now, in the last year, as I knew because of 
our personal relations, he had been trying to get back 
as an agent and had been operating in New York. His name 
was perfectly agreeable to Gang, and an agreement was 
made for me to write the screenplay for $75,000. I had 
told Sinatra that I had some work I wanted to do in Europe 
for several months and would begin the screenplay afterwards, 
and he said that was perfectly all right with him. 

At this time, I also took occasion to see David Miller 
about the script of Silver Nutmeg , and he said that he was 
busy with other work but that he was uncertain about my 
script and wanted to think more about it, and we agreed 
to meet again on it when we each were free. 

Before I left Los Angeles for New York, I had a call 
from Martin Gang, asking if I would mind waiting until the 
New Hampshire primary was over because Sinatra was a known 
supporter of John Kennedy, who was running for the Demo- 
cratic candidacy for presidential election, and he was in 
the New Hampshire primary. And I said, no, I wouldn't mind 
waiting at all. 


When I was in New York for a week or so, Kennedy 
won in New Hampshire and then immediately headed for the 
West Virginia primary. And I began to wonder whether the 
announcement would be postponed if he won in West Virginia 
and then postponed until the convention, and then if he 
became the candidate, whether it would be postponed until 
the election. And this troubled me because I wanted to 
see the blacklist broken. I called Gang and asked him 
about this, and he said he couldn't answer, and he told 
me to call Sinatra, who was then in Florida doing some 
singing and what Sinatra calls saloon dates, which were 
nightclub performances. I did call him and I said I 
wondered if he announced it, whether it would interfere 
with fund raising that he might be doing for Kennedy, and 
he said, "No, I'm not doing any fund raising for Kennedy. 
I'm not doing anything special at all. I just support 
him because I think he's the best man for the job." And 
I said, "Well, then what about making the announcement of 
your hiring me?" And he said, "Fine. I'll do it." So 
I then went off to Europe. And when I was in Tel Aviv 
and had been in Israel for, I don't know, let's say a week 
or so . . . let me see ... I forget just how long . . . 
about that length of time. . . . 


JANUARY 9, 19 79 

GAPDNER: You were in Tel Aviv. 

MALTZ: Yes, in Tel Aviv I received a letter from one of 
my brothers with a package of press clippings announcing 
that Sinatra had fired me. Now, Sinatra's announcement 
that he had hired me was made on the twentieth of March 
and. . . . Hold up just a second. [tape recorder turned 
off] The story of his hiring me got a great deal of atten- 
tion. The New York Times had a featured article which started: 
"Frank Sinatra has flouted the blacklist tradition of Hollywood 
by hiring a writer who for political reasons has not been per- 
mitted to write movies under his own name," and went on. It 
was treated as a piece of news by the New York Times , but 
the Hearst press treated it as though there had been some 
natural calamity like a volcanic eruption and the death of 
millions of people. Because they had headlines on their news- 
papers such as this one in the Hollywood Citizen News : Fuss 
Over Sinatra's Script Man, and in great big black letters, 
top of the page. 

On the twenty-second of March, two days after the 
announcement, Senator Mundt and others described my being 
hired as shocking--Mundt in Congress. And John Wayne and 
Robert Taylor spoke up, and the Hearst press started a 
national campaign to have me "dumped." On the twenty-fourth, 
the Maltz controversy was exhumed. On the twenty-fifth, 


the Catholic War Veterans said they would boycott Private 
Slovik if I wrote it. And on the twenty-eighth, there was 
a public advertisement from Frank Sinatra which said, among 
other things, "I spoke to many screenwriters, but it was 
not until I talked to Albert Maltz that I found a writer 
who saw the screenplay in exactly the terms I wanted. This 
is, the army was right." He then went on further to say, 
"I would also like to comment on the attacks from certain 
quarters on Senator John Kennedy by connecting him with 
my decision on employing a screenwriter. This type of 
partisan politics is hitting below the belt. I make movies. 
I do not ask the advice of Senator Kennedy on whom I 
should hire. Senator Kennedy does not ask me how he should 
vote in the Senate." And also on the twenty-eighth of 
March, there was an editorial in the Journal American 
saying, "Dump Maltz and get yourself a true American writer." 
On the twenty-ninth. . . . 
GARDNER: You were unaware of all this? 

MALTZ: I was unaware of all this, but I got the clippings . 
GARDNER: Later. 

MALTZ: I got the clippings later, yes. I was completely 
unaware of it. On the twenty-ninth, there was an editorial 
writer in the German American — [laughter] in the [ New York ] 
Journal American , [which] said, in talking about me, "Some 
of the other members of the Hollywood Ten have recanted. 


But not so with Comrade Maltz as is evidenced by the 
following revelations obtained from authoritative sources. 
Following his release from federal prison April 2, 1951, 
after serving a sentence for contempt of Congress ..." 
(and so on) ". . .he went to Mexico City. Maltz was 
considered the leader of the American Communist group of 
exiles in Mexico City. Maltz obtained passport number 
120028, dated August 8, 1958, ostensibly for a visit to 
England, France, Holland and Italy. There was litigation 
over the original refusal of the State Department to grant 
it. Maltz, without telling the State Department of his 
intended itinerary, visited the Soviet Union and such 
iron curtain countries as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and 
East Germany, hobnobbing with Red leaders along the line. 
Maltz is a member of the Writers Union in Moscow." 
[laughter] Now, here's a guy who takes the fact that I 
visited those countries to do this kind of article, makes 
the assertion about me having been a member of the . . . 
about my being a member of the Writers Union of Moscow, 
and this was the kind of campaign that was put on. 

And on the fourth of April, Sinatra fired me. There 
were big headlines in the New York Mirror and on the 
twelfth, he took another ad explaining, in very unfortunate 
terms, that the American people had voted that they didn't 
want me to write this screenplay. Well, of course the 


American people had not voted any such thing; there merely 
had been a campaign in the Hearst press, with the support 
of the American Legion and Catholic War Veterans and 
so on. And it was just an unfortunate phrasing for which 
I don't blame him at all. There were publicists and 
lawyers and so on who were involved. I have never been 
told what really happened. I know, without any question, 
that Sinatra was sincere in hiring me, he was sincere in 
what he wanted to do. I'm sure that he was tremendously 
upset by the pressure that was put on him, and since he 
was prepared for attacks on him by the American Legion, 
I can only assume that something completely unexpected 
happened which he felt he could not fight. 

It has been suggested, and even was in the press in a 
column or two, that John Kennedy's father appealed to him 
to fire me because this could be used against his son. Now, 
interestingly enough, there may be some real practical point 
to it, because Kennedy only beat Nixon by 100,000 votes. 
It's not inconceivable that 100,000 votes could have been 
lost by Red-baiting Kennedy with Sinatra and me. And 
it's only in that area that I can see any possible psycho- 
logical explanation for Sinatra's behavior. I'm sure 
that he was very unhappy over it. It was, for me, a second 
very unfortunate occurrence. It was my second chance to 
break through and I didn't. Actually, the opposite happened 


it made me a much hotter potato than I had been before 

because in this same year, 1960, three other men who were 

blacklisted broke through--In England three other men 

broke through by a film made in England: Joe Losey, the 

director, and the writers Millard Lampell and Ben Barzman. 

But it was four years more before I was able to sign a 

contract under my own name. 

GARDNER: Have you spoken to Sinatra since? 

MALTZ: No, no. I've not seen Sinatra and I've not had 

any communication from him. Oh, there's a little aftermath 

that I want to put on record. My agent, George Willner, 

had not been able to afford an office at that time. He 

had been given a desk and a telephone in the office of some 

left-wing attorneys. About a week after I learned of 

the firing, I got a very fat letter from the attorneys with 

a whole brief already prepared, and with them urging 

that I institute a legal suit against Sinatra. Number one, 

I had no desire whatsoever to sue Sinatra; and number two, 

I had no desire to get involved in any more legal suits. 

I'd had enough of those. And so I rejected this, and even 

though they urged me further, I just absolutely refused. 

But there was something more to this that I didn't find 

out until fourteen years later. 

Sinatra through his attorney, had offered Willner 
full payment for the script after firing me. But the lawyers 


went over the head of Willner and rejected it because they 
wanted to sue, and they expected me to agree to a suit 
without asking me. By the time Willner heard from me from 
Israel that I wasn't going to sue, the lawyers had gotten 
Sinatra's lawyers so furious that it was all Willner could 
do to get a settlement of half of the money. Now, this 
was real ambulance chasing on the part of some upright 
left-wing lawyers. 

I stayed in Israel until my wife was launched on 
her project at the kibbutz, and then I went to Paris. I 
worked with Fania Fenelon for about a month, asking 
questions and taking notes. And I was projecting a 
two-volume novel: one about her and the French Resistance, 
and the second about Auschwitz. And then we went to Poland 
in order to see Auschwitz. My friend and former agent Max 
Lieber, now living in Warsaw, went there with us. And 
we had the complete run of the camps with a guide with us. 
This is the time in which I want to put something on record 
that I perhaps will write a book about, but life may not 
permit me to do it and so I want to state my thesis here 
in the hope that, if I can't write it, perhaps someone else 

There is a myth that the Jews who died in Auschwitz 
and other such camps went knowingly but unresistingly to 
their deaths in the gas chambers. Now, this myth has been 


considerably sponsored by a psychoanalyst, Bruno Bettelheim. 
Bettelheim, born in Germany, was in a concentration camp for 
one year before World War II and came out to write a book 
about it, and because of this particular experience, assumed 
the mantle of someone who knew all about concentration camps. 
Well, indeed he knew his own experience; but he didn't know, 
and has not troubled to find out, what happened in the 
concentration camps of World War II. It has been said 
to me, and I'm not sure yet, that this myth was also spread 
by Hannah Arendt, author of Eichmann in Jerusalem and 
other works. And I am currently reading more of her work 
to investigate this. However, for reasons that surely go 
way beyond Bettelheim, this myth has been accepted in the 
entire world. Nevertheless, it is a myth, and I began to 
perceive how fallacious it was in my visit to Auschwitz. 

For instance, in the summer of 1944, when all the Jews 
in Hungary that the Nazis could find were shipped to 
Auschwitz, the trains came in so fast that frequently 
they were backed up because the people could not be killed, 
and their bodies disposed of, fast enough. Actually, in 
that summer the crematoria could not handle the number of 
people who were killed, and so the Nazis began burning people 
on wooden pyres, bodies on wooden pyres. When the trains 
backed up, there would be occasions in which they would 
be opened and the people inside would be let out. That 


summer was very hot, and the women's orchestra was allowed 
out of the building they were in (which was called a 
block) and was allowed to practice out of doors. Since 
their block was right close to the electrified twelve-foot- 
high barbed-wire fence that enclosed their camp, they 
were close to the railroad tracks. 

The railroad tracks separated the men's camp from the 
women's camp, and there was an area, on each side of the 
tracks, of earth. And the people would come out of the 
railroad cars, and old men would start to say prayers, 
children would begin to bounce balls and run around, and 
people would come over close to the wire and call in, in 
different languages, and say, "Hey, what's it like inside?" 
Now, no one who knew he was going to his death would say 
"What's it like inside?" They found themselves in an area 
between two barbed-wire fences, and they saw women playing 
music, women in prisoners' stripes. Now, the women were 
forbidden to talk to them, and even if they had said 
anything, what were they going to say? What would be the 
use of saying, "It's hell in here"? What could the people 
do about it? To say that to them would be to do no more 
than to give them anguish. And in fact--oh, by the way, 
this which I say was not just what was told me by Fania but 
I knew this from others; for instance, another woman, a 
Belgian woman now resident in Paris who was in the orchestra 


also, was Violette Jacquet. Her maiden name had been 
Silberstein. And she told me the same. 

Now in fact, the Nazis had carried out a very simple 
and logical policy of not causing trouble for themselves. 
They always told people who were going to be deported from 
their own country that they were sending them east for 
resettlement; and in one place they said, "You will work 
on farms"; in another place they said, "You'll work in a 
cement factory." The train that took Fania from France had 
in it people who said they had heard five or six different 
things of what they were going to do. But no one knew 
that they were going to a camp like Auschwitz. And this 
policy of the Germans, the fact that this is what people 
believed, I have learned from an endless number of people 
that I interviewed. 

For instance, very recently, because I was discussing 
this matter with the dean of Tel Aviv University, I asked 
some friends who were in my home about this. I asked, 
"Did any one you know, who was deported, ever know what was 
going to happen to them?" Now, the people I asked were the 
Czech film director, Jan Kadar, his wife Judith, who was 
Hungarian by birth and upbringing, and whose mother was 
in Auschwitz. I asked, in the same evening, Vladimir 
Pozner, a Frenchman, and his wife, Ida, who was German-born, 
and I asked the dean of Tel Aviv University, who was in 


Auschwitz with the author Elie Wiesel, and all of them 
said "No one knew. " They were all told they were going 
for resettlement and some work or other. Now in fact, if 
the Nazis had not carried out this policy, then we couldn't 
have had the kind of situation I described of people coming 
out of trains and saying, "Hey, what's it like in there?" 

Furthermore, still to be seen in Auschwitz today are 
the storehouses of musical instruments, of suitcases, 
of children's toys, and of other such objects which people 
brought with them. Now, the Nazis had a desperate need for 
transportation for warfare; they wouldn't have allowed 
valuable space to have been taken up in the boxcars by 
such things as cellos and bass violins if there hadn't 
been a purpose to it. But if they had not allowed it, 
it would have meant that they would have had to-- If people 
knew that they were going to their deaths, then from 
wherever they were taken f rom--Athens , Budapest, any other 
place--they would have had to drag each individual person 
onto the boxcar. The number of troops that would have 
been needed in order to pile them into the boxcars would 
have been enormous. This way they just did it with half 
a dozen troops, saying, get in, you're going for resettlement, 

Bettelheim also spoke of Jews of "ghetto psychology" 
who went to their death like sheep. But in Auschwitz, in 
fact, there were not only Jews: there were 10,000 captured 


Russian soldiers who went to their death; there were 
25,000 gypsies; the first people in Auschwitz were Polish 
Christians, including priests, who helped set up the camp 
and put it in shape. And so this kind of sweeping general- 
ization on his part is absolute nonsense. 

Further support of what I say is in the hard fact of 
the way in which the Nazis constructed the gas chambers. 
That is to say, people went down steps into an area. . . . 
Oh, first when they came in, first when people came out 
of the boxcars, a selection was made, the significance 
of which the people didn't know. Some were told to go to 
the left and some to the right. The old people, children, 
people in general who could not perform work satisfactorily, 
were told that they were going to take showers. They were 
led to dressing rooms underground. Men and women were 
separated, and small children went with their mothers. 
They were given towels and soap and told to undress and to 
remember the number of the hook on which they put their 
clothes. Why would they have participated in this farce if 
they had known what was going to happen? And if they had 
known, of course, then each one of them would have had to 
have been dragged, screaming, to their deaths. And finally 
they were sent into a large tiled room that had what seemed 
to be shower spigots in the roof; and the moment the 
doors were slammed shut, cyanide pellets were thrown in 


from the vents. It was only then that they knew. And 
if one or two of them with special sensitivity felt that 
something was wrong as they were being taken into the 
shower room, what could they have done? 
GARDNER: But. . . . 
MALTZ: Yes? 

GARDNER: Now, what about those who went in the other 
direction? They must have realized when they never saw. . . 
MALTZ: I want to tell you. For instance, Violette, whom 
I have mentioned, was sent in one direction and her father 
and mother in the other. And she was put through processing, 
and the next morning, when she had her first opportunity, 
she said to the capo in charge of the block where she 
had been sent to sleep, "Can I find out what happened to 
my mother and my father?" And the capo said, "Which way 
were they sent?" And she said, "They were sent to the 
right" (or the left, I forget at the moment which direction 
it was). And the capo said, "Come here," and took her 
outside and pointed to two huge smokestacks which were 
belching black smoke. And she said, "You see those smoke- 
stacks? There's your mother and there's your father." And 
that's how Violette found out about the crematoria and the 
gas chambers. This was exactly representative of the way 
other people found out. 

GARDNER: So those who were already in the camps, then, 
did know? 


MALTZ: Those people who were in the camps knew, yes, and 
there were tens of thousands of them who did go docilely 
to their death, knowing; but who were they, and why did they 
go that way? Well, as I said, they were not necessarily 
Jews of ghetto psychology. Several hundred thousand inmates 
of Auschwitz in its three years who died were not Jews. 
In addition to those that I have mentioned, there were 
non-Jewish political prisoners, many of them Communists from 
Poland, France, Greece, Holland, Yugoslavia. Now, these 
prisoners, first of all, were unarmed—take them from the 
moment they came in--they were unarmed, they were confined 
within electrified barbed-wire fences twelve feet high, they 
were constantly under the gaze of guards in watchtowers who 
had heavy machine guns. At night, searchlights played on 
the whole camp. They were no more able to revolt than did 
American prisoners of war in Germany, or German prisoners 
of war in England or the United States. There were 
incidents of individual attacks on SS guards, but that 
was not a general revolt. 

Now, with few exceptions, in the course of a few weeks 
or months, these prisoners were turned into dying creatures 
by malnutrition, harsh overwork, and physical abuse. For 
instance, at times of the counting of the prisoners, they 
might be kept two, four, six, eight, ten hours on their 
knees in all sorts of weather while being counted. What 


did that do to the human body and spirit? They suffered 
constant psychological shock. Let me give one example. 

The morning after Fania was in her block, a woman, 
ill with dysentery, soiled the floor, unable to contain 
herself. The capo, a woman—actually , a German criminal 
left in charge of the prisoners — came over with a club and 
beat her to death. Now, when you have come from a different 
world and this is just a "trivial" incident that you see, 
the psychological shock of that is incredible--as it is to 
go to the latrine once a day and be beaten on the head and 
shoulders with a club by someone who yells, "Quicker, 
quicker." In Auschwitz so many varied ailments afflicted 
prisoners that doctors there had never seen examples of 
them before, in addition to more familiar ones like typhus 
and dysentery. So what happened is that people became 
apathetic, human beings weighing 90 to 100 pounds. And 
when they were herded from the hospitals or from barracks 
into trucks, and knew they were going to the gas chambers, 
they were no longer capable of any kind of resistance. 

I will finish off by saying that I am trying to get 
someone to write this book because I don't particularly 
want to write it, but I feel that it should be done because 
this myth is so unfortunate and pernicious. And for anyone 
who wants to undertake it, the dean of Tel Aviv University 
would be able to furnish, for modest funds, Ph.D. students 


who would go and interview former inmates of concentration 
camps or of Auschwitz from different countries and from 
different parts of different countries, and provide actual 
evidence by name that could be kept on record of what 
I've said just in terms of analysis. 

Fania Fenelon and I returned to Paris, and I continued 
my work with her until the end of August. I returned sooner 
than I wanted to Mexico because of family problems. I 
began reading and sending questions to her. I don't think 
I've mentioned that when I first met her she had a large 
lump on one leg which she had neglected to go to a physician 
about. And so when I was in Paris, it had already been 
operated upon, and it was a melanoma cancer. After I 
returned to Mexico, I received word in the fall that the 
cancer had moved up to her groin and that she needed 
another operation, and I went over to Paris. But after I 
got there, the operation was postponed and we worked 
together for another month. And then I came back to Mexico 
again. (I might mention that in these flights I went 
either by Air Canada to avoid U.S. immigration, in one case 
on a flight via Portugal with a layover in Lisbon. But 
on one return flight, I couldn't avoid a Miami transit 
stop, and so I had to go through customs there and, once 
again I was detained, and the plane was held up for a 
half an hour until they got word from the FBI in Washington.) 


I continued work on the novel about Fania's experiences 
for the balance of '60 and the first half of '61. My 
tentative title at that time was The Orchestra . 

The winter issue of the Southwest Review , a literary 
quarterly issued by a university in Texas [Southern Methodist 
University], announced the winner of the second annual 
John McGinnis Memorial Award for the best work of fiction 
appearing in the Southwest Review during 1960 and 1961. 
The winner was Julian Silva, of Mexico City, for his story 
"With Laughter." There was a prize of $200, and Julian Silva 
was one of my pen names. This story had appeared in 1961. 

During the early months of '61, while I was continuing 
to work on The Orchestra , I met another woman who had been 
in Auschwitz. Her name was Dounia Wasserstrom. She had 
been born in Russia, had lived her adolescence in Poland, 
had migrated to France and there married an airplane 
manufacturer. She spoke Russian, Polish, French, and 
German, and our way of communicating was in Spanish. In 
Auschwitz, because of her ability at languages, she was 
a secretary to a gestapo officer. Fania Fenelon and a 
great many other of the prisoners who survived until the 
end of 1944, when the Russians were approaching Auschwitz, 
had been transferred by train to another concentration 
camp in Germany, Bergen Belsen. But Dounia had remained 
until the very end and she, with about, I think, 40,000 


other prisoners, both men and women, had been in a march 
that left in a snowstorm from Auschwitz and walked toward 
Germany. Dounia had bad footwear and her feet became 
swollen. When the time came in which they got the first 
rest after about eight hours of marching, she and a friend 
of hers who walked by her side, a Dutchwoman, were put 
into a barn the floor of which was covered by hay. Dounia 
knew that she couldn't go on, and anyone who couldn't 
continue to march was shot by the Nazis. She saw by the 
way in which the building was constructed that there was 
probably a depth of hay beneath where they were sitting, 
and she said that she wanted to try and escape by burrowing 
into the hay. Her friend decided to do it with her, and 
they found that they could go down deep into the hay, and 
air still came down, and they did that. 

When the Nazis roused the prisoners to go on, they 
remained and were not found although the Nazis poked 
bayonets into the hay to see if anyone had done that. In 
fact, they slept then for about twenty- four hours. They 
awakened to hear a men's group resting in there and then 
saw a man burrowing down toward them, and they waited in 
silence. When the men's group had departed, they discovered 
that four men had done the same thing as they, and now all 
the prisoners had passed and they had escaped. And she told 
me what happened to them after that, and I felt that it 
would make a very good short novel. 


I continued to work on The Orchestra , but in the summer 
I spent five weeks in Los Angeles seeking work, film work, 
but I found I was untouchable. Others were now starting 
to work. Ned Young had gotten work, so had Michael Wilson, 
under their own names. I spoke to Ingo Preminger and told 
him the story of Dounia and her friends, and asked if he 
thought it might sell to films. He said that he felt very 
confident it could sell if I would write it up as a novel, 
and I thought that this might be an excellent solution to 
my financial problem. The Orchestra was going to require 
several more years of work and I was beginning to need 
funds, and I thought if I could write this in a short 
space of time and sell it to films, it would finance the 
writing of The Orchestra . 

I wrote of my decision to Fania, and she was very 
furious about this because she wanted her book to come out, 
for which I can't blame her. I completed the Dounia story, 
which I called A Tale of One January , by June '62, and 
my agent in New York sent it out to publishers, and Ingo 
submitted it to film studios. It found no publisher and 
no film studio wanted it. Let me pause for a moment, 
[tape recorder turned off] 

Before I left Mexico in the summer of '62 I agreed 
to write a screenplay as a kind of matter of friendship with 
Gabriel Figueroa. This was to be a film made on Traven's 


book Bridge in the Jungle , which at least a dozen people, 
starting with John Huston, had taken an option on over the 
years but had never been able to crack as a story. And 
I felt I knew how to do it, and, because Figueroa asked me 
to and I was appreciative of what he had done for me, which 
I've already mentioned, I said I would do it provided he 
would leave the date of my completing it open in case I got 
some paying work in Hollywood. And that was agreed to. 

While I was up in Hollywood, Margaret went to Israel 
with the manuscript of her book because she wanted it 
checked by the people in the kibbutz before she submitted 
it for publication. I'll mention in passing that the 
book, called The Hand of Mordechai , which was published 
in ... I don't think it was published in the United States, 
it was published in England and was a best-seller in 
Israel . . . and is, I think, a very fine book. It has 
some of the most vivid battle scenes I've ever read in a 
book, even though, when Margaret started it, she wondered 
how she could possibly write about battles since she hadn't 
experienced it. But by taking down very careful notes of 
what the people had to say, the scenes came out magnificently, 

In Hollywood I discussed some revisions of Silver Nutmeg 
with Miller, but that work was interrupted a month later 
when Margaret returned from Israel. Although I've given no 
preliminaries to this, at that time our marriage broke up, 


and she went back to Mexico. My work was interrupted for 
some months after that, but I resumed work in October. 

By the end of January, '63, it became clear that the 
revision of Nutmeg was becoming a second screenplay, and I 
wanted some more remuneration for that, modest as the first 
payment had been. Miller and his attorney refused, and so 
I went on strike and stopped work. 

At the end of April I got a lucky job through the Paul 
Kohner Agency and went to Italy for five weeks to give my 
opinion of four films that an Italian producer, [Franco] 
Cristaldi, intended to make in English. He had a very 
distinguished record; among his films were Love Italian Style * 
and The Organizer . And the man who wanted me there was 
someone who was going to go into partnership with him on the 
four films, an Italian film distributor by the name of 
[Robert] Haggiag. I said that I felt none of them would be 
successful, and Haggiag pulled out of the whole deal 
because of my judgment, and it turned out they weren't 
successful. I wish I had been as accurate as that at 
other times of my life. 

A little after my return from Italy I went to Mexico 
to work out the terms of a divorce with Margaret. The 
division of community property and the need to pay alimony 
left me with an absolute need to earn money. I couldn't 
return to work on The Orchestra as I had hoped. If not 

' Divorce Italian Style 


for the blacklist, which was still affecting me, I might 
have gotten a good advance on it from a publisher as 
other authors do, but I was not in a position to get that. 
During that period I wrote the script of Bridge in the 
Jungle . And by August I had a new agreement on Nutmeg with 
David Miller consisting primarily of future promises and 
very little money in hand, and I finished it on the first 
days of January. It turned out that all of my work and 
two long screenplays went for nothing because Miller went 
blank on the project and said that he just didn't know, he 
couldn't offer any judgment on the screenplay whatsoever. 
And after about a year United Artists dropped the option. 
This is a very good example — I've gone into this at this 
length because it's a very good example of what could and 
did happen under the blacklist. It never would have 
happened to me, of course, if I hadn't been blacklisted. 

In January '64 I signed a film contract under my own 
name for the first time since Naked City in 1946. It was 
not the sort of material I would have chosen, but I felt 
I could write a sound screenplay. Most important, I felt 
that now I was at last on my way to reestablishing the 
position I once had in which I could do screenplays, save 
money, and return to fiction. I was very keenly aware of 
the fact that I was now fifty-five years old and that for 
the past fifteen years I had been excluded under my own 


name from the American marketplace--magazines , book 
publication, movies, and TV. And this was the opportunity 
that I had hoped would come. I needed it because I had no 
reason now, anymore than earlier, to count on my earning 
a living from my fiction. Furthermore, in another ten 
years I would be sixty-five, and in fifteen, seventy. 
Ever since the time in the thirties that the Theatre Union 
had given the Civic Repertory Theatre for a benefit for 
the great cartoonist Art Young, I had had a horror of 
living an impecunious old age. I didn't want any benefits 
given for me. So there was a need I had now to earn and 
harbor some financial resources for the years ahead. I 
could no longer take the attitude that if I could save 
a few thousand dollars, I could turn to write a novel 
because the future lay so far ahead. However, for various 
reasons, my hopes were not fulfilled. I did get some film 
work, and I earned and accumulated some needed money, but 
I didn't get the film credits that would have made me a 
writer in demand. I didn't, in the main, get offers of 
good material from major studios. Most of the offers came 
from independents who had bad material and were looking 
for some writer who might, by the magic of his talent, turn 
it into something good. I turned down about thirty projects 
in ten years. 


JANUARY 9, 19 7 9 

MALTZ: However, I did get one producer-writer offer 
from Universal which would have paid me very well, but I 
turned it down because I simply did not want to set my 
path into one of being just a filmmaker. And if I had 
accepted the offer, it would have involved a commitment 
on my part to write and produce films and continue doing 
that. That's what would have been expected of me. 

I've reckoned up two periods of my writing life, and 
the comparison is very telling. In the first period I 
had five screenplays and two short screenplays produced. 
These were periods of more or less the same period of 
time. The forties and, let's say, from about — no, from . . 
this is a period from '32 to '50, and from '62 to '78. In 
the first period I had five screenplays and two short 
screenplays produced; in the second period I wrote twelve 
screenplays, but only one was produced and two are now 
pending, with no certainty about them. With more than twice 
as much time having gone to film, it reduced time for my 
other work. So in the first period, I had three novels 
published, in the second, one published and one unpublished; 
in the first period, three full-length and three short 
plays produced, and in the second, one unproduced; and in 


each period, one volume of stories. Now, there are varied 
reasons for this marked difference in the two periods, 
but I'm not going to go over them. The key question is 
whether it demonstrates a diminution of my powers as a 
writer, and I'm confident it doesn't. And I think there's 
objective evidence to support my feeling, although I won't 
go into that either. The question is a key one for me 
because I'm now entering a period in which I'm going to 
write only fiction, and I'm going to begin with short 
stories; whether or not I follow with some novels will depend 
upon unknown factors in the future. 

I've covered the fifteen years from 1964 until now 
so far as my work is concerned, and now I want to go over 
other matters. I married for the second time in 1964. 
My wife, Rosemary [Wylde], died in 1968. A year and a half 
later I married my present wife, Esther [Engelberg] . 

In the year 1966, I received a most poignant letter from 
two Greeks living in the port city of Piraeus ... no, it 
was in 1965. As I recall, it was addressed to me in 
Mexico, and I really don't know how it reached me but 
it did. They told me that they had just been released 
after eighteen years in a concentration camp. I could 
guess at once that they must have been members of the 
Communist party, and of the Greek forces that had been 
fighting the government at that time and that had been 


crushed by English troops. They said that their concen- 
tration camp had been on an island and that for most of 
that time they had had no newspapers and no books; but 
that in the several years before they were released, they 
had been allowed books and papers, and that an English 
friend had sent them some books, among which was my novel 
The Cross and the Arrow . They had read it, and they had 
made a Greek translation of it, and all 500 prisoners on 
the island had read it. And now they were asking me for the 
right to try and get a Greek publisher. 

Well, I was of course overwhelmed by this tale and wrote 
them that of course they could have the rights to it. 
Then they wrote back after a bit and said they had found 
out that it might help publication if I would reduce the 
royalty rate I asked for, and I said they could make the 
royalty rate anything they wished. And we had something 
of a continued correspondence. I sent a New Year's card 
to them at the turn of 1966, and I didn't get one back from 
them. And in the last days of May, I went to New York with 
a producer, Malcolm Stuart, to see Jules Dassin, who was 
there at the time because he had directed his wife in a 
musical theater version of Never on Sunday . Malcolm Stuart 
hoped to make a film out of my novel A Long Day in a Short 
Life , and he had called Dassin to tell him about it and 
ask him if he wanted to direct it. Dassin was interested, 


and so we had gone there to talk with him. He and Melina 
Mercouri were in a state of high tension because, just a 
few days before we came, she had had an interview on TV 
about the political situation in Greece, where some 
colonels had taken power in a coup d'etat, a military coup 
d'etat, and she had suddenly burst into tears and said 
that they were fascists and that people should not go 
as tourists to Greece and Greece should be boycotted and 
so on. At that time, due to death threats that she had 
received, they were having to be guarded by both the police 
and the FBI. And I knew then why my two correspondents in 
Piraeus had not answered my New Year's card. They either 
had known what was coming and had gone underground, or they 
had been rearrested after their few years of liberty and 
were once again in prison. I've never heard from them 
since. Their names are Damigos Nikos and Dimitrios 
Kanelopoulos. And my New Year's letter to them finally 
came back, and on it was "address unknown." 

After my return from Mexico in 1962, I took up residence 
in the United States and only went back to Mexico on 
business or some visits. My public appearances in these 
past eighteen years have been only very occasional, by 
deliberation. A number of times at the Unitarian church, 
once in San Francisco on behalf of Morton Sobell before 
he was released, and a speech in defense of Angela Davis 


when she was on trial, and a few other occasions such as 
an annual meeting of the Civil Liberties Union in 1974. 
I rejected all other invitations because I did not want 
to get involved in that type of public activity again as 
a general rule, and I wanted maximum time for writing. 
Actually, despite the negative results in those eighteen 
years, I spent much more time writing than I did in the 
first period. Of course, not too long after I came up 
to reside in the States again, the Vietnam War occurred. 
I was vehemently opposed to it from the beginning, and I 
considered the alleged Tonkin Gulf attack on U.S. ships 
to be a transparent phony. But again, I deliberately 
refrained from public speaking or activity in any of the 
committees and, in this case, because I didn't want to give 
reactionaries a chance to Red-bait the committees on my 
account. I gave money, and I would go to large demon- 
strations where I would be one more person on the scene, 
but that was all. 

GARDNER: Were you at Century Plaza? 

MALTZ: No, that was the one thing I was not at. I had 
some urgent, I think it was a medical thing. It was the 
only one of those things that I missed. I was up in San 
Francisco, and a lot of the demonstrations downtown and 
so on, but I was not at Century Plaza. And that was dreadful, 
I know. From 1956 on, that is to say, from the time of 
the Khrushchev report. . . . 



GARDNER: Your tape ended. 

MALTZ: Oh, thank you. [tape recorder turned off] From 

the time of the Khrushchev report in 1956, my attitude 

toward all the socialist countries was affected by what 

I knew had gone on during the Stalin era. I now considered 

all of them to have seriously deficient political systems. 

Now, this didn't, on my part, mean an embrace of capitalism, 

which I considered seriously deficient for other reasons; 

but it did mean that I no longer found acceptable any 

explanation or justification for those states in which 

dissent was discouraged or made a crime. 

There were specific developments in the post-Khrushchev 
era in the Soviet Union that aroused my indignation because 
they indicated a retrogression to Stalinist oppression. 
First was the arrest and trial of two writers in February '66 
They were Yuri Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky for publishing 
works abroad which were critical of the Soviet Union 
and for which they used pen names. Well, this was as 
though I should be arrested for publishing in England, 
under a pen name, an article critical of the United States 
involvement in Vietnam. The charge against them was 
anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation. A loose movement 
of Soviet dissidents came to life in support of the two 
writers, and in January '67 there were two demonstrations 
in Moscow on their behalf. This led to the arrests and 


imprisonment of four of the demonstrators. They were 
charged with participating in group activities that grossly 
violated public order. This didn't stop protests which, 
to the contrary, increased, and since then a kind of 
guerilla warfare has gone on with the government, the secret 
police, and the courts against the dissenters. I won't 
attempt to describe these events further, but I do need 
to comment on two cases: that of General Piotr Grigorenko 
and of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. 

I followed the newspaper and magazine accounts closely, 
and I became a subscriber to the magazine called A Chronicle 
of Current Events , which was an underground publication in 
the Soviet Union by the dissidents and was translated into 
English in London. The case of Solzhenitsyn is well known, 
of course. I read his work and admired it wi thout--admired 
most of it, let's say — without considering him the Tolstoy 
that some Western propagandists have claimed him to be. 
(Incidentally, I think that the book published as 1914 is 
the most serious failure of any serious novelist I've ever 
read. The book is inexplicable to me, it's so badly put 
together. But on the other hand, I thought Cancer Ward 
was a very fine novel.) I was extremely indignant about 
what was happening to his work because after Khrushchev's 
downfall his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 
began to be removed from libraries and was no longer in 


print, and no new books of his could be published. He 

was dismissed from the Writers Union, which meant permanent 

blacklisting, and he was persecuted in other ways. 

The policy that made me more indignant than any other 
was the incarceration of a certain number of the dissidents 
in psychiatric institutions. The Soviet logic on this score 
was simple: any Soviet citizen who was critical of the 
regime was giving proof that he was mentally ill. Because 
who other than a mentally unbalanced person would be 
against the regime? Major General Grigorenko was a 
professor of cybernetics in the Frunze Military Academy, 
which was the equivalent of our West Point. He was a 
decorated hero of World War II who had been severely wounded 
several times. He was the author of many articles on 
military tactics. And he began open criticism of the 
government in 1962, saying that de-Stalinization had not 
gone far enough. He was reproved and told to be silent. 
He continued to criticize. He was dismissed from his post, 
stripped of his rank and pension, and expelled from the 
party. And he worked as a loader, which is hard physical 
labor, in order to earn a living, in spite of his age and 
his disabilities (he had problems with his legs) . And 
then on February 1, 1964, he was arrested and charged with 
anti-Soviet activity. But his case was not investigated 
or brought to trial because he was sent to the Serbsky 


Institute, which was the main forensic psychiatric institute 
in the Soviet Union, and there he was found to be "mentally 
disturbed." On the basis of this finding, he was sent to 
a Leningrad psychiatric hospital--no, he was sent to a 
Leningrad psychiatric prison for compulsory treatment. 
Incidentally, a mentally unbalanced person cannot be tried 
in the Soviet Union so in this way he was not allowed to 
defend himself against the charge that he was either 
anti-Soviet or mentally unbalanced. From 1964 until he 
was allowed to leave the Soviet Union in 1978, and then 
stripped of his citizenship so that he couldn't return, 
Grigorenko spent as much time in psychiatric hospitals as 
outside of them; and whenever he was out, he returned to 
be an active dissident. His case, and many like his, formed 
the basis of my unpublished novel, The Eyewitness Report . 
In the case of Solzhenitsyn I did something that had 
an unexpected and surprising result. In December '72 
I read an interview with him in A Chronicle of Current Events , 
The interviewers were the Moscow correspondents of the 
New York Times and the Washington Post , and their interviews 
appeared in their newspapers on April 3. But I didn't 
read them at that time; as I say, I didn't read them until 
December '72. Now, in the interview Solzhenitsyn stated 
that he was having a desperate time financially because 
he was not allowed to earn anything at that time. He said 


that he had lived six years very frugally on the royalties 
from Ivan Denisovich , and then he had lived three years more 
on a bequest from a writer of children's stories who had 
died. He could not get any of the royalties that had 
accrued to him in the West, and the Nobel Prize money had 
not come to him; and if any of it did, most of it would 
be taken by the state in taxes. In addition, he described 
"the contaminated zone that has been created around my 
family, and to this date there are people dismissed from 
their jobs for having visited my house a few years ago. . . . 
There even have been cases when my name was used as a 
litmus paper to check the loyalty of applicants for 
graduate studentships or some privileged position. They 
are asked, 'Have you read Solzhenitsyn? What do you think 
of him? 1 and the fate of the applicant could depend upon 
the reply." And I thought, my God, in my one-act play 
"The Morrison Case," I had the shipyard worker asked by the 
loyalty board, "Have you read any of the books of Howard 

I decided to write a letter to the New York Times about 
this . . . well, more than just about it—I'll explain: 
I decided to write a letter in which I would offer Solzhenitsy 
my uncollected royalties for books published in the Soviet 
Union. Now, although I couldn't have great hope that the 
Soviet authorities would permit this, nevertheless the fact 


that they had allowed him to receive a bequest in a will 
made me think that there was some possibility that they 
might permit this. I knew that if I merely wrote the letter 
in private to the Soviet authorities nothing would happen, 
and therefore I hoped that it would be published in the 
Times . 

I also had a basis for calculating roughly what my 
royalties might be since, as I stated earlier, I received 
17,000 rubles for 100,000 copies of The Cross and the Arrow . 
Now, after leaving the Soviet Union, I had received a 
letter in, I think, 1962 stating that over 2 million copies 
of my books had been published in the Soviet Union. If I 
then calculated at the same rate of 17,000 rubles for 
100,000 copies, it was easy to arrive at what I would be 
owed, and that even excluded what copies might have been 
printed between '62 and '72. I didn't count that. I also 
subtracted from the total the $700 that I had received way 
back around 1937 and the $10,000 that I had received around 
1955. I then did another thing. There had been a change 
in the ruble so that what was formerly 1,000 — or what was 
formerly 17,000 would have become 1,700. And I made that 
conversion as well and ended up with a figure of about 
34,000 current rubles that I felt could be paid to me if I 
got all of my royalties, and it was this that I offered 


When I sent the letter off to the New York Times , my 
attitude was one of hoping that they would print it, because 
about a year before, I had written another letter which 
I had sent to them, and they had not printed it. On that 
occasion my letter had been an open one to Kosygin and 
Brezhnev protesting the cancellation of a U.S. tour by 
[Mstislav] Rostropovich. I had tickets for the concert 
at UCLA, and I said that, as a musicgoer, I didn't think 
that his tour should have been cancelled, and it was 
cancelled because he had allowed Solzhenitsyn to live in 
a small cottage in the country where he had his own country 

To my astonishment, the New York Times didn't print 
my letter as a letter but made a four-column feature story 
out of it, with photographs. I'm going to give you copies 
of that material because I think it's relevant to this. 
And as I found out, it became a story that went around the 
world. I was called by Time, Newsweek , BBC, and it was 
broadcast by Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, and Voice 
of Liberty. A friend teaching in Japan wrote me about it, 
and I heard from friends in France, Israel, and other 
countries. I have been told before that I have no sense 
of publicity, and this was an apparent example of it 
because it never occurred to me that it was that newsworthy; 
but in the eyes of the Times and other people, apparently, 


one of the Hollywood Ten doing that was something unusual. 

In Moscow at that time there was a winter arts festival 
which was being opened by the minister of culture, a 
Madame Furtseva. She was told of my offer by Western 
reporters, and said that she didn't know anything about it 
and that there was no precedent for it. But she then went 
on to say, "Our fellow countryman, Solzhenitsyn, doesn't 
live badly. He has received the Nobel Prize and bought 
more than one car for himself, and, honestly speaking, he 
isn't in need of charity, believe me." Well, this was 
contrary to what Solzhenitsyn had said, and what he said 
in response to this was that he didn't have a car (apparently 
he had had one briefly and had had to sell it to live on it) , 
but when Furtseva said the word honestly , what she was 
doing at that time was building a country house for herself 
by appropriating state funds. And this was brought to 
light, and she was dismissed from her post as minister 
of culture. 

At that time Robert Penn Warren and Bernard Malamud 
stated that they also would offer their royalties to 
Solzhenitsyn, and, as a result, I know that a book of 
Robert Penn Warren's was canceled — a book that was supposed 
to be published in the Soviet Union was canceled. At that 
time there also was cancellation of a book of mine that 
was going to be published in the German Democratic Republic. 


GARDNER: Which one? 

MALTZ: They were going to issue a new volume of short 
stories. But now they've again started to print me in 
the German Democratic Republic, but not in the Soviet 
Union; in the Soviet Union I'm finished. 

GARDNER: That must be a rare double: to be blacklisted 
in both the United States and in the Soviet Union. I 
wonder. . . . [laughter] 

MALTZ: Yes, it didn't occur to me. [laughter] Yes. Yes, 
I suppose so. No, there may have been other instances. 
Well, yes, there were because Howard Fast, really, was in 
a situation of just about both. You know, he was really 
in that situation after he left. . . . Now, this whole 
business about Solzhenitsyn came as I was at work on my 
novel The Eyewitness Report , and I want to give just a 
little more background for that. 

In 1968 two events, two political events, happened that 
had great moment. One, of course, was the Prague Spring in 
Czechoslovakia, the attempt of the Czech people, led by 
the Czech Communist party, to have communism with a human 
face, and this was smashed in the summer by Russian troops 
who came in and put in a Stalinist regime. I was tremen- 
dously indignant about that and was very aware of something 
that happened in Moscow. Eight persons gathered on Red 
Square around an ancient monument and sat down with small 
banners, protesting the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Within 


minutes secret police were running from all sides of Red 
Square, and they proceeded to beat some of them and tried 
to arouse crowd hatred for them, and they hustled them into 
cabs and took them away. All of them received one degree 
of punishment or another. One of them, Litvinov, a scientist 
who was the grandson of the great Russian diplomat [Maxim 
Maximovich Litvinov] , was sent into Siberian exile for 
three years. And several of them were put into psychiatric 
institutions. I used this event as the opening scene of my 
novel. And so I combined the events of Czechoslovakia as 
the initial platform for this drama of someone put into 
a psychiatric institution. 

The second event of that year, which affected me 
enormously, was the outbreak of official anti-Semitism in 
Poland. This came about because there was a struggle for 
power between the head of the secret police, and the 
secretary of the Polish Communist party and head of the 
government, [Wladyslaw] Gomulka. (By the way, I got my 
information for this not only from reading but from a 
Polish friend who came here on a brief visit and who told 
me exactly what had happened.) The secret-police chief 
had used data he had been gathering for a long time as 
part of an anti-Semitic campaign to blame Gomulka in 
connection with certain student riots which occurred in 
Poland. It so happens that many of the older Communist 


leaders in Poland who had been members of the Communist 
party before World War II were married to Jewish women, 
because there had been Jewish women in that prewar party 
and there had been few, apparently, women who were not 
Jewish, and so they had married. Gomulka, in order to 
fight this, and in order to blame Jews for the riots, 
proceeded to order the dismissal of all Jews from posts in 
Poland. My friend told me of a general . . . no, I forget 
whether he was a general or a colonel . . . who had been 
in East Germany on some mission important to the Polish 
government and who had accomplished it successfully and 
returned. He was given a decoration with one hand and 
dismissed from the army with the other, and was now on 
a small pension. My publisher, whom I spoke about earlier, 
was also dismissed from his post and was on a small pension. 
Scientists and university educators and professors were 
out. They were not persecuted in any other way, they were 
not sent to prison; but they were dismissed, and they 
were allowed to leave the country provided they said that 
they were going to Israel. That was the only way in which 
they would be let out. Well, along with others, I joined 
in public protest at this, and I thought it very revelatory 
that the Soviet Union, which considered that it had to 
interfere in the internal affairs of Czechoslovakia, did 
not consider that this policy of governmental anti-Semitism 


was anything to be concerned about in Poland. And I'd 
say that we stop at this point. 


JANUARY 26, 1979 [video session] 

GARDNER: Now, if you'd like to pick up where we left 
off. . . . 

MALTZ: Yes, I would. I'll start with a couple of things 
that go back. One comment on the American Communist 
party: from the very first that I knew anything about it, 
it denounced all forms of racism and applied itself to 
this in many different ways--in all of its educational 
work, in the way it handled demonstrations, in the fact 
that peoples of all ethnic backgrounds were part of the 
organization and so on. And it's a sign of the corruption 
of that party that when in 1968 there was an eruption of 
official anti-Semitism in Poland, it was absolutely silent 
about it. And it has remained silent about the clear 
manifestations of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union today. 
Just that point. 

Now, also a minor correction about my film work. I 
said last time, I think, that I had had only one screenplay 
produced of those I wrote in the period between '64 and 
'78. Actually, three were produced, but I don't count 
two because of what happened to them. The one I mentioned 
as having been produced was Two Mules for Sister Sara , which 
was written to be a comedy with some drama in it; but the 
director, Don Siegel, turned it into a melodrama with some 


comedy in it because he didn't know how to handle comedy. 
The second was Beguiled , with Clint Eastwood in it, and 
that was produced but I removed my name from it because 
they rewrote my screenplay and turned it into a piece of 
trash. And the third, from which I unfortunately didn't 
remove my name, was an equal piece of trash called 
Scalawag with Kirk Douglas, but I understood that it was 
going to be a children's film and it turned out not to 
be anything — not a children's film, not an adult's film — 
with what was done to it, and so that's the third film. 
GARDNER: Two Mules for Sister Sara — will you be coming 
back to that later? 
MALTZ: No, no. 

GARDNER: That got very good reviews at the time that it 
came out. 

MALTZ: You know, I don't really remember. I think the 
reviews called it, let's say, an effective entertainment. 
That's all it was, a passing entertainment. But it could 
have been very delightful if it had been played with a 
deft comedy touch, which was what I'd intended, and in 
certain places with farcical touches. But Siegel would 
take a scene designed to be funny, and he'd turn it into 
a piece of drama--a melodrama, rather, because he doesn't 
know how to direct with humor. And I say this with great 
deliberation since there's a bit of a cult around him, 
which he doesn't deserve. 


I want to make one note which is a kind of a necessary 
footnote on my novel A Tale of One January , which was not 
published in the United States but published in England 
and other countries. There is a story told by a character 
in that novel which is identical with a story told by a 
character in The Deputy by Hochhuth, and the reason for 
it is this. I got the story of A Tale of One January 
from a woman Dounia Wasserstrom, who had been in Auschwitz 
and had been the secretary to a gestapo officer. She 
told me this terrifying story. 

One day a group of about, I think, eighteen or 
twenty-odd Jewish children, who had been hidden by Christian 
Polish families and had been discovered, were brought into 
Auschwitz. This was the men's camp, not Birkenau, where 
the gas ovens were. One of the children had a large apple-- 
he was playing with it, he was rolling it and running after 
it. Dounia' s boss came out of the building and stood 
looking at the children. And then he walked over to this 
child with the apple, and he picked him . . . swung him up 
by grabbing his ankles, and bashed his head against a wall. 
Then he picked up the apple and put it in his pocket. Later 
in the day, his wife and his small child came to visit him, 
and he took the child on his lap and fondled it, and then 
reached into his desk drawer and took out the apple and 
gave it to his child. 


Now, after she had told me this story and while I 
was writing it, she was called to testify in a trial of 
this gestapo agent and others who had been caught in 
Frankfurt, I think, in West Germany. She went there and 
testified and told this story about that man. And Hochhuth 
used it in The Deputy , which was produced before my novel 
was published in England. I had to write this explanation 
to my publisher who said, "How come that's the identical 
story?" So I just wanted to make that little note. 

Now, in view of what I did with Solzhenitsyn, I want 
to make a comment about his political thinking as he has 
revealed it since being expelled from the Soviet Union in 
February 1974. In an interview that he gave the French 
paper Le Monde on May 31, 1975, he was very critical of the 
United States for ending the war in Vietnam. Because we did, 
he said, we were condemning millions there to concentration 
camps. He said nothing about the Vietnamese whom we were 
killing . . . oh, I had a note on the back that I've lost . . 
that we were killing, or the land we were rendering useless 
for a hundred years by chemical defoliation, or what the 
continuation of the war was doing to American servicemen 
and American society. It was clear that he had only one 
social and political goal and that it dominated his 
thinking: at whatever cost, all Communist regimes had 
to be defeated and destroyed. 


Now, this theme that all Communist regimes were evil 
incarnate and the enemy of humankind was developed by him 
further in two speeches he made to the AFL-CIO on June 30, '75, 
in Washington, and a week later, in New York. I taped the 
first one. Among other things, he stated the following: 
one, the United States should not have recognized the 
Soviet Union in 1933; two, that the United States should 
not have aided the Russians in World War II (the significance 
of this was hair-raising because it was preferable to have 
had Hitler take over the Soviet Union rather than have a 
continuation of the Communist regime); three, the United 
States, France and Britain won World War II (he made no 
mention of the Russian role in that war, and this incredible 
omission is a revealing indication, to me, of his frenzy 
on the subject); four, the United States should now stop 
trade with the Soviet Union, and there should not be 
dltente. The West should make no treaties with the Soviet 
Union. His thesis that the Soviet economy depends totally 
on United States trade and loans is as false to the facts 
as his assertion that World War II was won by the United 
States, France, and Britain. He ignores the fact that from 
1947 until the mid-sixties , and yet the Soviet Union grew 
stronger year by year. ... (I want to get a cushion. 
And ... my back . . . it's that couch; that isn't my 
favorite seat. ) 


On May 24, '76, he gave a TV interview in Spain, 
when Franco was still head of the government, in which he 
told the Spanish people that they enjoyed absolute freedom, 
and he declared that the Falangist victory in the Spanish 
civil war had been a victory for the concept of Christianity. 
In June he made another speech during which he attacked 
workers who went out on strike. 

Now, it's clear then that Solzhenitsyn is a kind of 
Russian Foster Dulles. He's a clerical reactionary who is 
willing to link arms with anyone, including fascists, so 
long as they oppose the Soviet regime. I didn't know this 
about him when I offered him my support in '72. If I had 
known that he was willing, in retrospect . . . no, if I 
had known that he was willing to make common cause with 
Hitler, I would not have lent him my support. However, I 
didn't know it, and I don't in the least regret what I did 
because in the events from '64 to '74, the Soviet government 
was wrong and he was right. Now, on to another point. 

One of the changes in the cultural scene in the passage 
of the years between, say, the thirties to the seventies, 
which was for the worse in our country, is that in the 
thirties it was possible to raise the curtain on a play 
with an investment of, say, $25,000. And nowadays, the 
same play would require $250,000. This has resulted in 
limiting what playwrights can do in the theater. Producers 
ask for one-set plays with four characters. And I know, 


for instance, that when I wrote my play Monsieur Victor 
about Victor Hugo and I started around 1956, it was 
possible to do what I did--have several sets and a large 
cast of characters. Now there's practically no chance 
whatsoever for a play of that size. And when you think 
of the literature of the theater, this is enormously 
limiting. Similarly, when I first started writing short 
stories, there were quite a number of magazines that 
published and paid for adult short stories. ... To say 
serious stories would exclude, let's say, amusing short 
stories and I don't mean to do that. Now that number 
has shrunk by about 70 percent. And that again begins 
to close off a whole area of writing which is the field 
of the short story. Now, in 1971, for instance, I 
published a volume of collected stories, Afternoon in 
the Jungle , and I got some very good reviews in Look and 
the L.A. Times and several other places, but it wasn't 
10 percent of the reviews I had gotten with my first book 
of short stories in 19 38. There are now fewer newspapers 
that review books at all, many fewer short stories are 
published, and many fewer are read; and yet the short 
story has often been the ground where a writer first 
begins to find his footing. 

One of the things that happened, beginning around 1965 
and continuing on to today, was that the years of the 


blacklist and of the Hollywood Ten were revisited. Starting 
around 1968, there was an article in the L.A. Times 
magazine, the Sunday magazine, and since then there's been 
a steady increase of interest in the Hollywood Ten. There 
were other articles, including a long one in the New York 
Times Magazine by Victor Navasky, the present editor of 
the Nation . And there were many requests for interviews 
by people writing books on the era and requests from 
students doing Ph.D. and master's theses. In '73 I was 
invited to speak at Stanford, and I am fairly sure I 
wouldn't have been able to get a drink of water on the 
campus ten years earlier. But now I was introduced with 
some fanfare, and the same thing happened at a conference 
staged by UC Berkeley in '75. In fact, in the film 
industry it started to become chic to have been blacklisted. 
For instance, a radio, TV, and film writer, Mac Benoff, 
who had been a cooperative witness before the committee, 
and incidentally had been disowned by his own father, 
evidently had had several years of unemployment at a 
certain period. And in the seventies he proudly claimed 
that he had been blacklisted. 

I laughed when I saw that in print, but I became 
furious when my onetime close friend Michael Blankfort had 
the gall to lie in the same way this past year. There was 
an article about him in the L.A. Times Book Review on 
June 25, '78. The author, Jay Martin, made use of biographical 


data that he could only have gotten from Blankfort. The 
portrait he presented to his readers was of a man of 
integrity who, testifying before the House Committee, had 
affirmed with pride his many activities devoted to social 
change and who was blacklisted for a time. I wrote a 
letter to the Times that was published on July 16 in which 
I pointed out that Blankfort had a writing credit for a 
film produced each year from 1950 through 1956 — the worst 
of the McCarthy years; but no blacklisted writer got 
credit in those years. In actual fact, when Blankfort 
completed his testimony, during which he had repudiated 
a good many of the social causes he once supported, the 
chairman applauded him for helping the committee. Hypocrisy 
and roguery fit together very well. 

Now on to another point which is very important to me 
and which is not over, really. There was, for me and for 
many others, a most extraordinary development in pos tblacklist 
history when Dalton Trumbo made a speech in March 19 70, 
and I want to read part of that speech. This is to be 
found in his book Additional Dialogue , and it's at the very 
end. Trumbo received the Writers Guild annual Laurel 
Award, quote, "For that member of the Guild who has 
advanced the literature of the motion picture through the 
years and who has made outstanding contributions to the 
profession of the screenwriter." In the course of his 


remarks after accepting the award, Trumbo said this: 

I presume that over half of our members have 
no memory of that blacklist because they 
were children when it began, or not yet 
born. To them I would only say this: 
that the blacklist was a time of evil, and 
that no one on either side who survived 
it came through untouched by evil. 
Caught in a situation that had passed 
beyond the control of mere individuals, 
each person reacted as his nature, his 
needs, his convictions, and his particular 
circumstances compelled him to. There 
was bad faith and good, honesty and 
dishonesty, courage and cowardice, 
selflessness and opportunism, wisdom and 
stupidity, good and bad on both sides; 
and almost every individual involved, no 
matter where he stood, combined some or 
all of these antithetical qualities in 
his own person, in his own acts. When 
you who are in your forties or younger 
look back with curiosity on that dark 
time, as I think occasionally you should, 
it will do no good to search for villains 
or heroes or saints or devils because 
there were none; there were only victims. 
Some suffered less than others, some grew 
and some diminished, but in the final tally 
we were all victims because almost without 
exception each of us felt compelled to 
say things he did not want to say, to do 
things he did not want to do, to deliver 
and receive wounds he truly did not want 
to exchange. That is why none of us-- 
right, left, or center—emerged from that 
long nightmare without sin. 

That's the end of the quotation, which is of course 

a very eloquent one, but wrongheaded. I was not present 

when he made this speech, but I read in the newspaper the 

next morning that he had received the Laurel Award, and 

I telephoned him immediately. When he told me about the 

speech and about the great reception it had received, he 


omitted any mention of what I have just read. I didn't 
know it then, but it was to lead to a public dispute and to 
something very regrettable, personally, between us. I was 
enormously disturbed when I finally read this. For me, 
Trumbo had wiped out all differences between those who 
opposed the committee, which was promoting thought control, 
and those who supported the committee. He equated those 
who had suffered blacklisting, with all of its consequences, 
with those who had helped promote it. I was bewildered. 
Since he was the most prominent member of the Ten , and 
since he had made this speech at the annual meeting of 
the guild, it had the effect of absolving the informers 
in the audience and in completely confusing the younger 
writers who had no basis for estimating the situation. 
With a Christ-like air, Trumbo had said that everyone was 
a victim of the times. To me this was philosophic nonsense. 
We were at that moment conducting our foul war in Vietnam. 
Was the pilot who dropped napalm on a Vietnamese child 
equally a victim of the times as the child? To understand 
all is not to forgive all. Is there no right and wrong in 
what people do in life? 

Exactly a year after Trumbo' s speech, Elia Kazan 
published a novel called The Assassins . In an interview, 
Kazan, who had been an informer, said, "I didn't find any 
heroes or villains in life, so I didn't write any. We're 


all victims." In another portion of the interview, he 
said, "Everybody is culpable, no good guys and bad guys." 
Commenting on this in a letter to the L.A. Times , Richard 
Powell, a TV writer, said, "'We are all guilty' is a 
rationale no society can afford. It cripples advocacy by 
decent men and puts no rein at all on the indecent. If 
the inmate is equally guilty with his guard, then how 
shall we ever do away with concentration camps?" 

However, I knew that there was no point in calling 
Trumbo at that moment about it because Trumbo was a man of 
very strong opinions, and under the circumstances, with the 
reception that his speech had received, I didn't think 
that he would be capable of some serious talk with me 
about it. I called some friends who had been at the 
dinner, and they reported to me that all of the informers 
present had been ecstatic with delight. Trumbo, the best 
known of the Hollywood Ten, had absolved them. I called 
Adrian Scott, who had been married in Trumbo 's house. 
He agreed with me but said he wouldn't talk to Trumbo 
about it; he didn't want to quarrel with him. Adrian 
did tell me something I had not known: that when Trumbo 
traveled, he carried a Bible with him. That, to me, was 
fascinating. I didn't feel I could really interpret it, 
but obviously it had some meaning. 

I remember no one I spoke to who agreed with him. 
One or two tried to, as it were, sympathetically interpret 


him while not really agreeing with him. But all of them 
said they were not going to discuss it with him. And their 
reasons were twofold, although they didn't have to state them 
to me: one, they admired him so much that they didn't feel 
like crossing swords with him; secondly, even if they had 
wanted to cross swords, they were afraid of him. Trumbo 
could be incredibly cutting and vitriolic. And he had a 
formidable mind, personality, and tongue. I knew that I 
would talk to him sooner or later, but there seemed no 
point to it at the moment, and I let it drift. 

It so happened that both of us were very busy, and 
we didn't happen to meet at any social or public gathering, 
and so time passed. And it was not until July of the 
next year that I called him and went to see him. I told 
him what I felt about his speech. And Dalton's reaction 
was that, well, I felt that way and that was my privilege, 
but he knew that a great many others didn't, and there 
was no point in discussing it. That was on July 30, but 
two weeks later, on August 15, we were together at a 
memorial meeting for Herbert Biberman. Those of us of 
the Hollywood Ten in the area spoke—Adrian, Lester Cole, 
Trumbo, and myself--and I taped the meeting. I was 
astonished to hear one thing Trumbo said about Herbert 
Biberman. He had been talking about the fact that Herbert 
was deeply interested in people, that if he asked about 


your family, he truly wanted to know. He then said the 
following (I am quoting from the tape) : "He was a man 
who, during a trip to Europe, encountered someone who had 
informed on him. And they talked for an hour and a half. 
And Herbert was interested in the man." I knew Herbert quite 
well and this astonished me. I simply could not believe 
that the man I knew would have talked for an hour and a 
half with an informer. Two days later, Gale Sondergaard, 
Herbert's widow, came to our home, and I asked her about 
it. She said, well, it was nothing like that. Herbert 
wanted an actor, Stephen Boyd, for a film he was going to 
shoot called Slaves . Boyd was in Madrid in a film being 
directed by Dmytryk. Herbert got in touch with Boyd and 
then went to Madrid to see him. After their talk Boyd 
invited Herbert to a cast party that was to be held that 
night. Herbert declined, explaining that he didn't 
want to meet Dmytryk. The next morning, as he was checking 
out of the hotel, he heard a voice saying, "Why, Herbert, 
what are you doing here?" Herbert turned and saw Dmytryk. 
He replied sharply, "I'm proving there's more than one 
way to get to Spain." This was their conversation. And 
since that was Herbert's only trip to Europe in all of 
those years, it was this that Trumbo had blown up into an 
hour and a half of conversation with an informer. 

It was my belief then, and I have not changed it 
since, that Trumbo said this about Herbert in order to 


buttress his own position about informers, which I had 
challenged. He was doing it, moreover, before what one 
could call a captive audience: that is to say, all of 
Herbert's old friends, Trumbo's old friends, the people 
of the Left who remained. However, I didn't draw full 
conclusions from this until well over a year later. And 
at the time, I ascribed it to a sort of egotistical 
caprice on Trumbo's part. 

However, there were further developments. On various 
occasions I saw in print Trumbo's phrase "only victims" 
used by one person or another. Later in 1971 an important 
book appeared, Thirty Years of Treason by Eric Bentley. 
The frontispiece quote was from Trumbo's Laurel Award 
speech, and it began, "The blacklist was a time of 
evil," and it quoted the core of the position to which 
I objected. The next year Robert Vaughn's book entitled 
Only Victims appeared. It was now unmistakably clear 
that Trumbo's position was getting very wide acceptance, 
and I regarded this as an absolutely dreadful perversion 
of history. 

I decided that it was absolutely necessary for me to 
make clear that there was not a wholesale acceptance of 
his position by other people. I wrote a statement and 
the question was, how would I get in into print? I thought 
of placing it as an advertisement in Variet y. But then 
a call came from a journalist, Victor Navasky. He was 


writing an article on the Hollywood Ten for the New York 

Times Sunday magazine, and he wanted an interview. He 

came to my house early in December, shortly after I had 

written the statement. I showed it to him and asked him 

if he would like to use it. He said he would and asked 

if he could show it to Trumbo. He had an appointment with 

Trumbo for the next day. I said that of course he could. 

Navasky's article on the Ten appeared in the New York 

Times Sunday magazine on March 25, '73. But before that, 

something happened that caused me to open a private 

correspondence with Trumbo. 

The guild had a series of meetings in which individual 

writers spoke and one of their films was shown. Trumbo 

was one of the featured speakers and Blankfort was 

announced as the moderator. I again was astonished. I 

couldn't go to the county museum auditorium where it was 

held, but I wanted to know what would be said, and I had 

someone go for me with a tape recorder. The result of that 

was the decision to write him a letter with nothing 

withheld. I need to mention that we'd become quite close 

as friends, and my letter was not written impulsively — 

quite the contrary. This is a portion of what I wrote: 

I think the time has come just now to write 
you a blunt letter. I cannot stomach your 
current behavior. It bewilders me, saddens 
me, outrages me. If I had not for so many 
years admired you, liked you, and rejoiced 
in the bond between us, I would not bother 


to write this letter. Indeed if you were 

not today in so many, many ways a man whose 

public behavior still commands my respect 

and admiration, I also would not bother to 

write to you. How can you be so blind to 

what you're doing? I recently received the 

Time of the Toad from your publisher, 

undoubtedly sent to me at your request. 

I reread it with care. It was a magnificent 

polemic when you first wrote it; it now has 

stood the test of twenty years and is no 

less magnificent. Yet how bewildering that 

at the same time that this book comes to me 

in the mail the author sits on a platform 

of a theater, where one of his films is to 

be shown as part of a retrospective program, 

and listens with a satisfied smile to the 

remarks of the moderator, who ate toad 

meat before the committee with unctuous 

relish. "I never was a fellow traveler of 

the Communist party," Blankfort said, in 

effect, to the committee. "I actually was 

a fellow traveler of yours." Now, twenty 

years later, in a voice greased with similar 

unction, he praises his friend Dalton Trumbo 

from A to Z , and Trumbo sits complacently. 

With what does Blankfort conclude his 

remarks? What else but the seemingly 

Christ-like quotation from your Laurel 

Awards speech about that time in American 

life when there were no villains or heroes, 

only victims. Naturally, naturally. Trumbo 

has absolved the Blankfort. If Blankfort had 

to eat toad meat, it was only because he was 

a victim. And Kazan joyously echoes this in 

his latest novel: everybody is culpable. 

Interviewed about the writing of the book, 

he states, "I didn't find any heroes or villains 

in life so I didn't write any. We're all victims." 

Now, where did that phrasing originate? And 

why does Kazan find it so true and felicitous? 

How come this philosophic bond between Trumbo 

and Kazan, Trumbo and Blankfort? How on 

earth can the author of Time of the Toad be 

merry with those he once pissed upon? 

That's the quote from my letter. 

The result of my letter was a private correspondence 

that continued over a period of several months. However, 


in a letter to me on February 7, 1973, Trumbo's tone 
suddenly changed. Previously we had been two close 
friends who were engaged in a serious dispute about 
issues of moral and philosophical significance. The 
debate between us was sharp, but it was civilized. 
Suddenly, in this letter, Trumbo's tone became one of 
bitter sarcasm with an underlying rage. At the end 
of it he broke off all relations with me. 

This was not the first time Trumbo had done this 
with a friend; it was something of a pattern in his 
behavior, the cause of which I never knew. But I 
recall the time in the sixties when he had told me that 
there had been an irreparable break between him and 
Hugo Butler. Hugo Butler was much closer to him than I 
was, and in 196 3, when Trumbo and I both happened to be 
in Rome at the same time doing some work, we went to 
dinner at the home of Harold J. Smith, who was one of the 
coauthors of The Defiant Ones and other screenplays. At 
the end of the dinner, Trumbo suddenly erupted in a 
personal attack on Smith so contemptuous and venomous as 
to be inexplicable. He told me later that it had been 
calculated because the Smiths had been annoying him, and 
he didn't want them to continue. Later, he attacked his 
close friend Ian Hunter,* Therefore, his breaking off 

* Trumbo later resumed close friendships with Butler 
and Hunter. 


relations with me did not disturb me. I regretted it, 
of course, but this was Trumbo's problem, not mine. 

I replied to his letter on March 22. He never received 
it because it arrived at his home when he was in Jamaica 
working on the script of the movie Papillon . Cleo, his 
wife, returned it to me unopened. When Trumbo returned 
from Jamaica, it was for the purpose of undergoing urgent 
surgery. From then on until his death he was an invalid, 
and I didn't want to send him a letter that I knew would 
enrage him. I think I have to change my. . . . [changing 
tape] Guess it had run out a while ago. 

While Trumbo was still alive, Bruce Cook, his biographer, 
interviewed me. Trumbo had given him the correspondence 
to read without, of course, my last letter. Cook told me 
that he considered it an important correspondence that he 
would like to publish as an appendix to the biography. 
I said I would be willing to have it published but only if 
it included my final letter. I explained what had happened 
to it and suggested that he consult Cleo about it. He 
said he would and that I would hear form him before he 
left Los Angeles. I didn't hear. I sent several letters 
to him. There was no reply. I finally sent a registered 
letter with a return receipt requested. I got the receipt 
but no reply from him. I was afraid he might do something 
very unfair, which he had mentioned to me as a possibility-- 
namely, publish Trumbo's letters and summarize my replies. 


This was, I understood, legally permissible, however unfair. 
He did this to a small degree in the biography, but I 
wouldn't say that he had been unfair to me. However, he 
has rather a number of errors in his references to me 
in the book, some of them due to what Trumbo told him, 
and some of his own. 

Trumbo ' s death in September '76 was one of a series of 
deaths of old friends that's now becoming larger and larger. 
The first was that of my very dear friend Philip Stevenson. 
The next year it was Hugo Butler, my neighbor and fellow 
blacklistee in Mexico for seven years; and then Guy Endore; 
then Herbert Biberman in 19 71; to be followed a year later 
by Adrian Scott. All of these men were so much a part 
of my life that it's as though trees in an orchard surrounding 
my home had been cut down. The view is now less pleasing. 
I mention this only because I, like everyone else, have 
been intellectually aware that anyone who is long-lived 
must experience the loss of friends. But only now do I 
feel it . . . and feeling it is much keener than merely 
knowing it intellectually. 

It's a pleasant coincidence that in my seventieth 
year a book about my work has been published for school 
libraries. It's by Jack Salzman, a scholar in the English 
department of Hofstra University. He got in touch with 
me about ten years ago, saying that he wanted to write a 


study of my work. I supplied him with biographical material 
and other data, but his judgments on my work are his own, 
without any consultation with me. The book, with my name 
as title, is in the Twayne series of studies of American 
authors and has been published by G. K. Hall and Company, 
of Boston. 

Unless you have questions, I think I'll close this 
history with a projection of what I would like to be my 
epitaph: on the last day of his life, an hour before his 
death, he was listening to Schubert's quartet number 13 in 
A minor, while he wrote down the name of a book he wanted 
to read, the idea for a short story he wanted to write, 
and the date of a holiday he hoped to take with his wife. 
GARDNER: That's such a lovely thing, I wouldn't think of 
asking anything else. Thank you very much. 
MALTZ: Thank you, Joel. 



Aaron, Daniel 

- Writers on the Left , 579 

Abolitionist Vigilante Com- 
mittee of Boston, 

Academy of Motion Picture 
Arts and Sciences 
-Academy Awards, 5 24, 
559, 561 

Actors Equity, 143, 157, 

Actors Repertory Theatre, 
396, 398 

Adams, John, 610 

Adler, Mortimer, 84-85 

Adlon Hotel, German 
Republic, 915-16 

Afraid to Talk , 15 7 

Albee, Edward, 161 

Algren, Nelson, 486, 714, 
744, 760 
- Man with the Golden 
Arm , The , 744 

Allen, Frederick Lewis 
- Only Yesterday , 487 

Allen, Robert, 213 

Allenby, , 30, 459 

Almanac Singers, 429 

Amann, Ernesto, 824, 

839, 847, 921-23 

Amann, Mrs. Ernesto, 922- 

American Civil Liberties 
Union, 148, 216, 
720, 747, 981 

American Federation of 

Labor (AFL) , 259- 
60, 275, 387-88, 426 

American Federation of 

Labor-Congress of 
Industrial Organiza- 
tions (AFL-CIO) , 998 

American Legion, 208, 268, 
735-36, 852, 952, 

American Mercury (periodical) , 




- Negr 

n School, Mexico, 25 
n, John, 164, 288 

Judith, 116 

Maxwell, 401 

Sherwood, 236 

Leonid, 57, 100 
n Who Were Hanged , The , 

412, 482-83 
r, Herbert 
o Slave Revolts in the 



United States , 489-90 
Aquinas, Thomas, 79, 189 
Arendt, Hannah, 961 
Aristotle, 62, 78 
- Ethics , 81 
- Logic , 79 

- Poetics , 71, 81, 106, 150 
Armendariz, Pedro, 886 
Arnold, Benedict, 373-74 
Arnold, Thurman, 707 
Aronson, James 

- Press and the Cold War , 
The , 714 
Artef (theater) , New York 
City, 629 

, Arthur, 802 

Arts, Sciences, and Profes- 
sions Committee. 
See Progressive Citi- 
zens of America 
Atkinson, Brooks, 161, 164, 

245, 282-83, 287, 288 
Auschwitz (concentration 

camp) , Poland, 919, 
942-43, 960-69, 
970, 996 
Ausubel, Nathan, 459 
Authors League of America, 
139, 278, 302, 390, 
514, 518, 720, 738, 
-Authors Guild, 278 
-Dramatists Guild, 138-39, 
278-79, 307-8, 321, 325, 
344, 514 


Authors League of America 
-western branch, 596 
Avon Theatre, New York 

City, 147 
AWARE, Inc., 736 

Babb, Sonora, 5 78 
Bacall, Lauren, 677 
Bach, Johann Sebastian, 
22, 83, 413, 921 
Baker, George Pierce, 101- 
4, 115-16. See 
also Yale University 
School of Drama 
Baker, Mary, 546-47, 550, 
568, 593, 595, 605, 
651, 737, 830 
Baldwin, Roger, 236 
Balfour Declaration, 30 
Ball, Lucille, 679 
Barnard College, 202 
Barsky, Edward, 614 
Barzman, Ben, 959 
Bass, Charlotta, 563 
Bates, Ralph, 433-34 
Bates, Ruby, 218-19, 230, 

Baxandall, Lee, 335 
-"Brecht in America, 
1935," 330, 337-38, 
341-42, 402 
Baxter, Alan, 123, 140, 151 
Beard, Charles, 403 
Beard, Mary (Mrs. Charles), 

Beethoven, Ludwig van, 83, 

Bein, Albert 

- Let Freedom Ring , 343 
Bela, Nicholas, 556 
Belfrage, Cedric 

- American Inquisition, 
1945-1960 , The , 612-13, 
-quotations from, 608, 
613-14, 713, 735-36, 
745, 807, 890 
Bell, Griffin, 811 

Bella Vista Hotel, Cuer- 

navaca, 841-42, 852 
Bellas Artes, Mexico D.F. 

Bellow, Saul, 501 
Benedict, Ruth, 458 
Benes, Eduard, 453 
Benet, Stephen Vincent, 236 
Benjamin, Herbert, 214 
Benjamin, Maurice, 644 
Bennett, Harry, 386 
Benoff, Mac, 1001 
Bentley, Elizabeth, 822 
Bentley, Eric, 673 

- Thirty Years of Treason , 
832, 1008 
Bercovici, Leonardo, 826 
Bergen Belsen (concentration 

camp), Germany, 9 70 
Bergman, Ingmar, 163 
Bergman, Ingrid, 551, 613 
Berman, Pandro, 502-3 
Berry, John, 759 
Bessie, Alvah, 703. See also 
Hollywood Ten, 
Unfriendly Nineteen 
-and HUAC, 623, 630-31, 

-in HUAC testimony of others, 

-and "Maltz controversy," 

578, 582 
-and motion picture black- 
list, 692, 820 
-as one of Hollywood Ten, 

717, 727 
-in prison, 783 
Best American Short Stories, 


of the 

(1936) , 274, 
i Best Short 




ies, 855 

of Our Lives, 

The, 624 

Bettelheim, Bruno, 961, 964 
Beverly Hills Hotel, 615, 

Biberman, Herbert, 487, 634, 

721, 764, 767, 836, 


Biberman, Herbert (con- 
tinued) , 856. See 
also Hollywood Ten, 
Unfriendly Nineteen 
-death and memorial 
service, 702-4, 1006-8, 
-and HUAC, 623, 630-31 
-in HUAC testimony of 

others, 664 
- Hollywood Ten , The , 759 
-and motion picture black- 
list, 832 
-in prison, 709, 770-71, 

780, 782-83 
- Slaves , 1007 
Billinger, Karl, 416-17, 
- Fatherland , 416 
Birnbaum, , 464 
Black, Helen 

- Singing Cowboy , 304 
Black, Hugo, 713 
Black Legion, 380, 382 
Blankfort, Laurie (Mrs. 

Michael) , 179 
Blankfort, Michael, 215-16, 
420, 493, 495, 752, 
-and Merry Go Round , 141- 

43, 149, 179 
-and motion picture black- 
list 1001-2, 1009-10 
- Sailors of Cattaro (adap- 
tion) , 279 
-and Theatre Union, 233 
Blasco Ibafiez, Vicente, 60 
Blasenheim, Bernard, 906 
Blaustein, Julian, 730 
Blitzstein, Conrad, 740 
Blitzstein, Marc, 740-41 
- Cradle Will Rock , The , 

-"I've Got the Tune," 740 
- Threepenny Opera , The 
(translation) , 741 
Blockade , 705 
Bloomingdale' s (depart- 
ment store) , New 
York City, 493 

Blum, Leon, 348 

Blumenthal, A. C, 146-47 

Blumenthal, Richard, 505-6 

Blumofe, Robert, 70 

Boas, Franz, 460 

Bogart, Humphrey, 521, 527, 

Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon, 

Bond, Ward, 619 
Bonus Expeditionary Force, 

207-9, 218 
Book Find Club, 549 
Boston Herald (newspaper) , 

Boston University, 304-5 
Boudin, Leonard, 904 
Bowers, Claude 

- Jefferson and Hamilton , 
342, 370, 403, 610 
Boyd, Stephen, 1007 
Bradley, Francis, 188 
Bradley, Lyman, 799, 801-2 
Brahms, Johannes, 413 
Bransten, Richard (pseud. 

Bruce Minton) , 465 
Brecht, Bertolt, 159, 237, 

340, 353-54. See 

also Unfriendly 

-and HUAC, 623, 630-31, 

681, 683 
- Mother , 303, 330-43, 402 
- Mother Courage , 303 
-as one of Unfriendly 

Nineteen, 341, 641-42 
- Threepenny Opera , The , 
110, 160 
Bremen (ship) , 327-28 
Brenner, Alfred, 450 
Brewer, Roy, 619, 832, 852 
Brezhnev, Leonid, 988 
Bridges, Harry, 274-77 
Briehl, Walter, 904 
Bright, John, 826, 906 
British Broadcasting Corpora- 
tion, 855, 859, 988 
Brodsky, Murray, 608 
Bromberg, Joseph Edward, 

740, 849, 870 


Bromfield, Louis, 728 
Brooks, Richard. 

- Brick Foxhole , The , 598 
See also Scott, Adrian, 
Brooks, Van Wyck, 45 8 
Broun, Heywood, 25 7 
Browder, Earl, 294, 476, 
555, 571 
- Teheran , 553-54 
Brown, John Mason, 10 7, 

Brown, Lloyd, 858 
Bruning, Eberhard, 915, 

Buchenwald (concentration 

camp) , Germany, 923- 

Buchman, , 88 

Buchwald, Nathaniel, 396 
Buck, Pearl, 728 
Buckmaster, Henrietta 
- Let My People Go , 490 

Buerger, , 43, 45 

Burger, Hans, 924-25 
- Crisis , 454 

- Lights Are Going Out in 
Europe , The , 924 
Burger, Puck CMrs. Hans), 

Burgin, , 928-31 

Burnett, W. R. , 503-4 
Burton, Val, 706, 871 
Butler, Hugo, 1011, 1013 

Caldwell, Erskine, 270, 
359, 404, 412-13, 

California Eagle (news- 
paper) , 563-64 

Cameron, Angus, 536-38, 
865, 873, 937-38 

Cameron and Kahn (pub- 
lishers) , 873 

Camp Upton, New Jersey, 29 

Campbell, Alan, 727 

Camus, Albert 
- Caligula , 116 

Canby , Henry Seidel, 493 

Cantor, Eddie, 613 
Capitol Theatre, New York 

City, 711 
Capra, Frank, 567-68 
Cardenas, Lazaro, 896 
Carlson, Evans, 565 
Carlson, Oliver, 671 
Carnegie Hall, New York, 

417, 433, 740 
Carnovsky, Morris, 870 
Catholic War Veterans, 956 

Cavett, Dick, 867 
Century Plaza Hotel, 981 
Ceplair, Larry 

- Inquisition in Hollywood , 
The , 579, 617-18 
Cerf, Bennett, 460, 679 
Chafee, Zechariah, 713, 750 
Chamberlain, Neville, 435, 

453, 474 
Chambers, Whittaker, 734- 

35, 866, 875 
Chaplin, Charles ("Charlie"), 

564-65, 713, 855 
- Monsieur Verdoux , 106 
Chaplin, Oona (Mrs. Charles) , 

Cheever, John, 359 
Chekhov, Anton, 57, 419 
Chicago Tribune (news- 
paper) , 297 
Chodorov, Jerome, 487 
Christian American Crusade, 

Christian Front movement, 

456-57, 461-62 
Chronicle of Current Events , 

A (periodical) , 983, 

Chrysler Corporation, 380 
Churchill, Winston, 474, 

553, 588-89, 606, 612 
Churchman (periodical) , 462 
Civic Repertory Theatre, New 

York City, 243, 278, 

280, 283, 345, 391-92 
Civil Rights Congress, 614, 

736, 748, 783 


Clark, Dane, 533, 542 
Clark, Thomas C, 609, 

Clurman, Harold, 131, 341, 

396, 486 
Coates, Robert, 486 
Cobb, Lee, 39 5 
Cogley, John 

- Report on Blacklisting , 
669-70, 677-78, 852 
Cole, Lester, 168, 703, 

717, 1006. See also 
Hollywood Ten, 
Unfriendly Nineteen 
-and HUAC, 623, 630-31 
-in HUAC testimony of 

others, 661 
-and motion picture 

blacklist, 691, 694, 870 
-in prison, 773, 783 
Collins, Richard, 623, 630, 
825. See also 
Unfriendly Nineteeen 
Columbia University, 197- 
98, 202-3, 368, 
370, 612, 763 
-A.M.* at, 15, 22, 53-56, 
58-64, 68, 70-92, 97, 
99-100, 411, 720 
Commager, Henry Steele, 

712-13, 829 
Committee for the First 
Amendment, 640, 
652, 677-78, 702 
Commonweal (periodical) , 

Commonwealth Club, 744 
Communist International, 

221-24, 423 
Communist party, Czecho- 
slovakia, 415, 990 
Communist party, France, 

Communist party, Germany, 
220-25, 416, 423, 
Communist party, Greece, 

Communist party, Mexico, 

833, 834-35, 901-2 
Communist party, Poland, 

Communist party, U.S.A., 
294-95, 306, 337, 
476, 554-56, 715, 
825, 833. See also 
International Labor 
Defense, International 
Publishers, John Reed 
Club, League Against 
War and Fascism, 
League of American 
Writers, Political 
Affairs , Unemployed 
-A.M. membership, 308-12, 
316-20, 330, 350, 471, 
519, 574-76 
-and Communist Political 

Association, 555-56, 571 
-and Congress of Indus- 
trial Organizations, 
386, 389 
-Hollywood branches, 486, 
512-14, 535-36, 556, 715 
-labor policy (1930s), 

261, 425-26 
-legal cases involving, 

735, 748-49 
-and "Maltz controversy," 

572-585 passim 
-members, 233, 289, 302, 
329-30, 338, 376-77, 
465, 757, 873 
-alleged disloyalty, 

609-17, 649 
-secrecy regarding, 312- 

-subpoenaed by HUAC, 
623, 630, 634-85 passim 
-and Nazi-Soviet Nonag- 
gression Pact, 210, 295, 
471-72, 485 
-presidential campaign 
(1932) , 186-88, 236. See 
also Foster, William Z. 

* Throughout this index Albert Maltz is abbreviated A. 

in subentries. 



Communist party, U.S.A. 
-press, 288-89. See also 
Daily Worker , Mainstream , 
Masses , Masses and Main - 
stream , New Masses , 
People's World 
-Queens-Long Island 

branch, 485 
-and Spanish civil war, 

376, 583-84 
-spokespersons, 290 
-and theater (1930s) , 
251-53, 345, 397, 399 
Communist party, USSR, 221, 
472, 572, 929-32, 
934, 936, 984 
-twentieth congress, 
376, 877-81 
Communist Political Associ- 
ation, 555-56, 571 
Confession , The (film) , 
377 . See also 
London, Artur 
Congress of Industrial 

Organizations (CIO) , 
321, 381, 386-88, 
643, 687, 719 
Connelly, Slim, 687 
Cook, Bruce, 1012-13 
Cooper, Gary, 568, 664, 

Cooper Union, New York 

City, 187 
Coppola, Francis Ford, 

Corey, Jeff, 870 
Corwin, Norman, 467, 616, 

Coughlin, Charles Edward, 

456-57, 460-62 
Counterattack (publica- 
tion) , 736 
Cowan, Lester, 5 46 
Cowley, Malcolm, 187, 302, 

404, 486 
Coy, Harold, 459 
Cravat, Nick, 745-46 
Crawford, Cheryl, 131 

Cristaldi, Franco, 974 
- Divorce Italian Style , 

- Organizer , The , 974 
Cromwell, John, 616 
Cronin, A. J. , 538 
Crossroads of the World, 700 
Crowther, Bosley, 538 
Crum, Bartley, 639, 642-45, 

670-71, 812 
Cry, the Beloved Country , 

Cyrano de Bergerac , 4 2 

Dahlberg, Edward, 2 
Daily Worker (newsp 
170, 173, 21 
275, 376, 38 
477, 668 
Duclos lette 




"Maltz contr 
578, 581 
-reviews of works 
246, 289, 570 
Daily Variety (news 

625-26, 629, 

727, 832, 10 
Dallet, Joe, 263 
Dallet, Kitty (Mrs. 

Daniel, Yuli, 936, 
Da Siiva, Buddy, 50 
Da Silva, Howard, 2 

Dassin, Jules, 628- 

737, 943, 97 
Daves, Delmer, 530- 

43, 565, 592 
Davidson, Edward, 4 
Davis, Angela, 980- 
Davis, Owen, 308 
Dean, Alexander, 10 
Defiant Ones , The , 
Deinum, Andreas, 64 
DeMille, Cecil B. , 


Denig, , 6-7 

Dennis, Eugene, 878 

aper) , 
8, 260, 
8, 407, 

r, 570- 

oversy , " 

by A.M. , 

paper) , 

Joe) , 

44, 826, 

29, 710, 


33, 542- 




5, 138 
870, 1011 



Descartes, Rene, 189 
Deutsch, Albert, 459 
Deutsches Theater, Berlin, 
German Democratic 
Republic, 158-59, 
DeVoto, Bernard, 728 
DeVries, Lini, 434, 447-50, 
817, 821-23, 829, 
837, 839, 853 
Diamond, Leroy ("Lee"), 

543-45, 654 
Diary of Anne Frank , The , 
159, 726, 917, 920 
Dickens, Charles, 48, 56- 
- Tale of Two Cities , A, 
Dickinson, Sterling, 893 
Dies, Martin, 465, 632 
Direction (periodical) , 489 
Dmytryk, Edward, 725, 1007. 
See also Hollywood 
Ten, Unfriendly 
- Cornered , 826 
- Crossfire , 600-601 
-dissociation from Holly- 
wood Ten, 812, 816, 825- 
26, 831-33 
-and HUAC, 623, 630, 639 
-and motion picture 

blacklist, 691 
-as one of Hollywood Ten, 

717, 748, 756, 759-60 
-in prison, 770-71, 780, 
784, 788, 798-99, 802, 
808, 811-13 
Dmytryk, Jean (Porter), 
725, 803, 811-12 
Doctorow, E. L. 

- Book of Daniel , The , 431 
Dodd, William Everett, 888 
Dos Passos, John, 145, 236, 

301, 404, 728 
Dostoyevsky, Fedor, 9 33 
- Brothers Karamazov , The , 
Douglas , 



Douglas, William, 0., 
Douglass, Frederick, 
Dozier, Bill, 519-20 
Dramatists Guild. See 

League of America, 
Dramatists Guild 
r, Paul, 713-14 
er, Theodore, 182-83, 

458, 564, 583 
er, Mrs. Theodore, 564 
us, Alfred, 323, 372 
k, Alexander, 926 
W.E.B. , 490 
William, 742 
Jacques, 570-71 
Allen, 865 
John Foster, 769, 
865, 999 
, Alexander 
ree Musketeers, The, 










Philip, 640, 858-59 

Kirk, 897, 995 

Eastwood, Clint, 995 
Ebbets Field, New York, 10 
Edman, Irwin, 62-64, 79, 

Einstein, Albert, 226, 414 
Eisenbud, Jules, 67 
Eisenhower, Dwight David, 

261, 855 
Eisenstein, Sergein, 194 
- Battleship Potemkin , 195- 
96, 525-26 
Eisler, Hanns, 237, 340, 712 

- Mother , 303, 330-43 
El Patio Theatre, 739 
Eldridge, Florence, 715 
Eliot, T. S., 69 
Ellis, Havelock, 226, 227 

- Dance of Life , 603 
Embassy Auditorium, 566, 727 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 733 
Emerson, Thomas, 751, 829 
Encounter (periodical) , 899 
Endore, Guy, 363, 515, 650, 

Engels, Friedrich, 80, 188-90 
-Socialism: Utopian and 

Scientific, 18 8 


English, Richard, 852-53 
-"What Makes a Hollywood 
Communist," 831 
Englund, Steven 

- Inquisition in Hollywood , 
The , 579, 617-18 
Epstein, Julius, 527 
Epstein, Phil, 527 
Equality (periodical) , 

459-65, 484-85 
Erasmus Hall High School, 
New York City, 39, 
44, 50-53 
Erlichman, John, 867 
Ernst, Morris, 720 
Erskine, John, 75-76 
Everyman's Library, 413 
Excelsior (newspaper) , 842 
Execution of Private Slovi- 

ki , The (film pro- 
943-44, 946- 

Exodus , 912, 

49, 952 
FBI, 631, 647-48, 723, 751, 
822, 873, 910, 969, 
-agents, 721-22, 875 
-informers, 417, 749, 
819, 837 
Faragoh, Francis, 145 
Farrell, James T. , 301, 
404, 578, 580 
- Studs Lonigan , 581 
Fast, Howard, 538, 712, 
718, 766-67, 799- 
802, 986, 990 
- Citizen Tom Paine , 712 
-and HUAC, 614 
-and "Maltz controversy," 

573, 578, 581-82, 584 
- Naked God , The , 581-82 
- Peekskill, U.S.A. , 736 
- Spartacus , 902-3 
Faulkner, William, 583, 713 
Fears, Peggy, 147, 149 
Federated Press, 272, 288, 

Felix, Maria, 886 
Fenelon, Fania, 919, 941- 
43, 960, 962-63, 
968-70, 972 

Ferber, Edna, 493 
Ferrer, Jose, 713-15 
Feuchtwanger , Lion, 226, 

340, 586 
Feuchtwanger, Marta, 340- 

41, 354 
Field, Ben, 406 
Field, Frederick Vanderbilt, 

783, 836, 892 
Fifty Best Short Stories of 

1915 to 1939 , 4 08 
Figueroa, Gabriel, 861, 

863-64, 887, 907-8, 

Finn, Pauline Lauber, 700- 

701, 747 
Finnish Cultural Club, 

New York City, 324 
First American Writers 

Congress, 301-3 
First Unitarian Church, 

909, 912, 941, 980 
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, 583 
Flaubert, Gustave 

- Madame Bovary , 357 
Flavin, Marvin, 

- Criminal Code , The , 92 
Fleming, D. F. , 220 

- Cold War and Its Origins , 
The , 224, 290-91, 453 
-quotations from, 220- 
21, 297, 348-50, 432- 
33, 469-71, 589, 606 
Flexner, James Thomas, 766 
Flying Yorkshireman , The 

(anthology) , 411, 445 
Ford, James W. , 186-88, 

Ford Motor Co., 181, 386 
Fosdick, Harry Emerson, 219 

269, 458, 464 
Foster, William Z., 186- 

88, 236, 555, 571 
Fox, Mary, 233 
Fox, William, 690 
Franco, Francisco, 999 
Frank, Waldo, 187, 301-2 
Franklin, Benjamin, 765 
Freeman, Joseph, 246, 362- 

63, 404-6 
-American Testament, 362 


Freud, Sigmund, 85, 226, 

Frichtman, Stephen, 703, 

715, 739, 909 
Friedman, Samuel, 233, 
Frunze Military Academy, 

USSR, 984 
Fuchs, Klaus, 755 
Fulbright, James W. , 808 
Fund for the Republic, 

669, 678. See also 

Cogley, John 
Furtseva, , 989 

Galsworthy, John, 26, 57, 

100, 401, 412, 482 
- Forsyte Saga , The , 26 
- Foundations , The , 238 
- Justice , 238, 400 
- Silver Box , The , 238, 

- Skin Game , The , 238, 400 
Gang, Martin, 852, 949-50, 

Gannett, Lewis, 479, 742-43 
Garfield, John, 395, 532, 

542, 635, 679, 713 
Garland, Judy, 6 79 
Garland, Robert, 165, 288 
Garaldon, Roberto, 908 
Geer, Will, 396, 398, 739, 

Gehman, Richard, 743 
Gellert, Hugo, 187 
Gellhorn, Martha, 431, 751 
Gellhorn, Walter, 751, 829 
General Motors Corporation, 

256, 380, 382-85 
Gerard, Albert, 464 
German-American Bund, 456 
Gide, Andre, 226 
Gilmore Stadium, 686, 702, 

Give 'Em Hell, Harry , 611 
Gold, Michael, 216-17, 301, 

362, 404, 572-73, 

- Jews Without Money , 217 
Goldberger, Joseph, 733 

Goldman, Edwin Franco, Jr., 

Goldstein, Malcolm 
-Political Stage , Th 

235, 288, 399 
Goldstucker , Edward, 8 
Goldwyn, Samuel, 651 
Gomez, Manuel, 233-34, 

Gomez, Sylvia, 233 
Gomulka, Wladyslaw, 
Gone with the Wind, 






Goodrich, Franices, 
Gordon, Eugene, 187 
Gordon, Michael, 281 
Gorky, Maxim, 100, 359, 710 
-Birth of a Man, 414 


303, 331 
Jay, 826 

826, 870 

Gorney , 
Gough, Lloyd, 
Graetz, Heinrich 

- History of the Jews 
Grafton, Samuel, 256, 
Grand Central Station, 
York City, 760 

Grant, , 556 

Grant, Cary, 532 

Graves, , 296-97 

"Great Alberti, The, " 
Green, Millicent, 244 
Green, Paul 

- Hymn to the Rising 
Greene, Giaham 

-This Gun for Hire, 





pRomy") , 

Greenson, Ralph 

Greenwood Reprint Corp., 

Griffith, Beatrice 

- American Me , 56 4 
Griffith, David Wark, 144- 

Grigorenko, Piotr, 983-85 
Grinkev, Roy, 546, 556 
Gropper, William, 464 
Group Theatre, 131, 233, 

237, 240, 251, 253, 

396, 398-99, 849 


Group Theatre (continued) 
-production of Waiting 
for Lefty , 280, 398 
Guthrie, Woody, 4 29 

HUAC (House Un-American 
Activities Com- 
mittee) , 611, 613, 
687, 691, 705, 708, 
723, 728, 756, 761 
-film industry investiga- 
tion, executive session 
(1947), 618, 652 
-film industry investiga- 
tion, open session 
(1947) , 617-26, 629-31, 
633-85, 688, 690 
-film industry investi- 
gation (1951-52) , 635, 
824-29, 847, 849-50 
- Hearings Regarding 
the Communist Infil - 
tration of the 
Motion Picture 
Industry , 648- 
76 passim 
-investigation of New 
York theatrical com- 
munity, 876, 885 
Hackett, Albert, 726 
Hagen, Uta, 713 
Haggiag, Robert, 974 
Hall (G. K.) and Com- 
pany (publishers) , 
Halpern, Charles, 92-97, 

Halpern, May Sherry. See 

Sherry, May 
Hammett, Dashiell, 166- 

67, 302, 417, 460, 
476-77, 486, 520, 
783, 836 
- Glass Key , The , 166-68 
- Maltese Falcon , The 
(book), 166, 521 
Hammond, Percy, 245-46 
Hansberry, Lorraine 

- Raisin in the Sun , A, 

Hansen, Harry, 439, 487 
Harlan (camp) , Pennsylvania, 

Harper's (periodical), 273, 

54 8 
Harris, Jed, 140-41 
Hart, Moss, 460 
Hart, Walter, 141-43, 166 
Harvard University 

-47 Workshop, 101-2 
Harvey's Restaurant, 

Washington, D.C., 
Hathaway, Clarence, 290 
Hayden, Sterling, 825 

- Wanderer , 825 
Hayes, Helen, 295 
Hearst, , William Randolph, 

Hecht, Ben, 531 
Hecht, Harold, 745-46 
Heller, Joseph, 501 
Hellinger, Mark, 627-29, 

695-98, 710 
Hellman, Lillian, 281, 302, 
431, 460, 713-14, 937 
- Little Foxes , The , 244 
- Scoundrel Time , 577 
- Watch on the Rhine , 587 
Hemingway, Ernest, 417, 
431-32, 486, 488, 
583-84, 696, 713, 
-"Justice for the Foreign- 
born," 46 5 
- Killers , The , 696 
Henreid, Paul, 713 
Hepburn, Katharine, 713 
Herman, John, 187 
Herndon, Angelo, 230-31 
Hersey, John, 715 
Heym, Stefym, 917-18 
High Noon , 81 
Himelstein, Morgan 

- Drama Was a Weapon , 235, 
251, 397, 399, 402 
Hindenburg, Paul von, 219 
Hirsch, Joe, 715 
Hiss, Alger, 734, 754 


Hitler, Adolph, 209-10, 
223, 236, 423, 
425, 916, 998-99 
-British appeasement, 
292-93, 434, 452-55, 
-and Nazi-Soviet Nonag- 

gression Pact, 470-71 
-rise to power, 219-20, 

-and World War II, 348, 
474, 927 
Hochhuth, Rolf 

- Deputy , The , 996-97 
Hofmann, Hans, 12 8 
Holiday, Billie, 430 
Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, 

Hollywood Bowl, 713 
Hollywood Citizen News 

(newspaper) , 955 
Hollywood Nineteen. See 

Unfriendly Nineteen 
Hollywood Reporter (news- 
paper) , 625-26 , 
641, 832 
-"You Can Be Free Men 
Again! " 8 32 
Hollywood Ten*, 393, 714- 
15, 846, 956-57, 
1001. See also 
Bessie, Albert; 
Biberman, Herbert; 
Cole, Lester; 
Dmytryk, Edward; 
Lardner, Ring, Jr.; 
Lawson, John Howard; 
Ornitz, Sam; Scott, 
Adrian; Trumbo, 
Dalton; Unfriendly 
-books about. See 
Bentley, Eric; Cogley, 
John; Ceplair, Larry; 
Kahn, Gordon; McWilliams, 
-contempt of Congress: 
preliminary hearing, 
arraignment, and trial, 
708-10, 714, 722-25 

-legal fund and publicity 
campaign, 704-711, 729, 
739, 753, 760-61, 849 
-motion picture and pub- 
lishing blacklist, 328, 
344, 688-95, 705-7, 738- 
39, 1002-13 
-preparation for trial, 
700-702, 704, 714, 717 
-trial appeals, 731, 734, 
747, 753 
Hollywood Ten , The , 759 
Hollywood Writers Mobiliza- 
tion, 518, 565, 701 
Hook, Sidney, 187, 745 
Hoover, Herbert, 82, 177, 

185, 196, 208 
Hoover, J. Edgar, 461, 609, 
648, 719-22, 751, 
890, 895 
Hooper, Hedda, 641, 707 
Hotel Astor, New York, 715 
Howard, Sidney 

- Silver Cord , The , 284 
Hubesch, Edward, 870 
Hughes, Charles Evans, 7 33 
Hughes, Hatcher, 92, 95 
Hughes, Howard, 598, 830 
Hughes, Langston, 301, 404 
Hughes, Rupert, 619, 6 66, 

Hugo, Victor, 162, 323, 372, 

872, 884, 887, 1000 
Huie, William Bradford 
- Execution of Private 
Slovick , The , 949-51 
Hull, Cordell, 433 
Humboldt, Charles, 861-62 
Hume, David, 188 
Humphrey, Hubert H. , 808 
Hunter, Ian, 871, 1011 

-"Robin Hood" (TV series) , 
Hunton, Alphaeus, 783 
Huston, John, 640, 702, 973 
Huston, Walter, 730, 737 
Hutchins, Robert M. , 712 

I Am an American Day, 6 99 
Ibsen, Henrik, 100, 104, 

* Material indexed under this entry concerns the ten 
unfriendly witnesses during the period following the 
conclusion of HUAC's investigation (1947). 


Ibsen, Henrik (continued) , 
109-10, 126, 483 
- Doll's House , A, 238 
- Enemy of the People , 
An , 238 

Industrial Workers of the 
World, 173-74, 210 

Ingram, Rex, 685 

Institute of Historical 

Sciences, USSR, 936 

International Alliance of 
Theatrical Stage 
Employees (IATSE) , 

International Brigades, 
Spain, 428 

International Brotherhood of 
Teamsters and Ware- 
housemen, 274-75 

International Labor Defense, 

International Longshore- 
men's and Ware- 
housemen's Union, 

International Longshore- 
men's Association, 

International Publishers, 
404, 438-39, 441, 
866, 898 

Isaacs, Harold, 76-77 

Ivens, Joris, 918-19 

- Spanish Earth , The , 432- 

John Reed Club, 227 

Johnson, Surges, 467-68 

Johnston, Eric, 644-45, 689, 

Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee 
Committee, 565, 609, 
614, 717, 727-28, 
763, 799, 1012 

Jones, Mary ("Mother Jones"), 

"Journey of Simon McKeever, 
The" (radio adapta- 
tion) , 826 

Joyce, James, 129 

Juarez, Benito, 881 

Kadar, Jan, 963 
Kadar, Judith (Mrs. Jan), 
Albert, 873 
Barbara (Mrs. Gordon), 

Gordon, 623, 630, 645, 
650, 847, 853. See 
also Unfriendly Nine- 
- Hollywood on Trial , 644- 
45, 701, 721-22, 847 
Kahn, Otto, 14 5 
Kaiser, Georg 

- From Morn to Midnight , 
Kanelopoulos , 



_, 301, 372-75 
Dimi trios, 



Katims, Milton, 68-69 

Jackson, Donald, 856 

Katz, Charles, 637-39, 642- 

Jackson, Robert H. , 458 

44, 718, 720 

Jacquet, Violette Silber- 

Katz, Otto (pseud. Andre 

stein, 962-63, 966 

Simone) , 415, 586-87, 

Jarrico, Paul, 826, 856 


Jeffers, Robinson 

-Black Book, The, 587 

-Medea, 116-17 

Kaufman, George S., 141, 

Jefferson, Thomas, 610, 

244, 679 


Kaufman, Irving, 836, 873 

Jerome, V. J., 338-39, 475 

Kaye, Danny, 29 5, 6 77 

Jewish Currents (period- 

Kazan, Elia, 121-23, 140, 

ical) , 464 

280, 598, 1004-5, 

Jewish People's Fraternal 


Order, 566 

-America, America, 122 


Kazan, Elia (continued) 
- Assassins , The , 1004 
Kazin, Alfred, 439, 478-79 
KCET (television station) , 

Keith, Robert, 240, 244 
Keller, Helen, 226 
Kempton, Murray 

- Part of Our Time , 579 
Kennedy, John F. , 808, 953- 

54, 956, 958 
Kennedy, Joseph P., 958 
Kennedy, Robert F. , 80 8 
Kenny, Robert W. , 639, 642- 

45, 670, 714, 739, 

Kent, Rockwell, 486, 904 
Kerensky, Aleksandr, 298 
Kerr, Alfred, 226 
Keyserling, Leon, 719-20 
Khrushchev, Nikita, 300, 

877-79, 922, 981- 

Killian, Victor, 870 
King brothers (Frank and 

Maury) , 851 
Kingsley, Sidney 

- Men in White , 398 
Kirov, Sergei Mironovich, 

Kisch, Egon Erwin, 415 
Knight, Eric, 411, 467 
- Flying Yorkshireman , 

The , 411-12, 414, 467 
-Never Come Monday , 412 
- This Above All , 467 
Knopf, Alfred, 304 
Knopf (Alfred A. ) , Incor- 
porated (publisher) , 

Knox, Alexander, 640 
Koch, Howard, 616, 623, 

630, 635, 638, 650, 

651-52, 704-5, 852. 

See also Unfriendly 

Kopelev, Lev, 933-37 

- To Be Preserved Forever , 

Koster, Henry, 859 
Kosygin, Andrei, 988 
Krim, Arthur, 70 
Krutch, Joseph Wood, 87 
Ku Klux Klan, 380, 613, 

Ladd, Alan, 504, 521 
La Farge, Christopher, 715 
La Farge, Oliver, 596 
Lafayette, Marie Joseph, 

Lafayette Hotel, Washington, 

D.C., 722 
Lake, Veronica, 504 
LaMarr, Hedy, 713 
Lamont, Corliss, 937-38 
Lampell, Elizabeth (Mrs. 

Millard) , 815 
Lampell, Millard, 429, 959 
-"Lonesome Train, The," 
429-30, 560, 814-15 
Lancaster, Burt, 679, 726- 

27, 745-46, 753 
Landis, Kenesaw Mountain, 

Jr., 65-67, 136 
Lang, Fritz, 568 
Langoff, Wolfgang, 158-59, 

Lardner, Frances (Mrs. Ring), 

Lardner, Ring, Jr., 516, 
568, 691, 871. See 
also Hollywood Ten, 
Unfriendly Nineteen 
-and HUAC, 623, 634 
-in HUAC testimony of 

others, 650 
-as one of Hollywood 
Ten, 638, 683-84, 717, 
-in prison, 773, 783 
-"Robin Hood" (TV series) , 
Larkin, Katherine (sister- 
in-law) , 829 
Larkin, Margaret. See Maltz, 

Margaret Larkin 
Lasky, Victor, 832 


LaTouche, John 

-"Ballad for Americans," 
430, 560 
Laurents, Arthur, 739-40 
Lawes , Lewis E., 95, 464 
Lawrence, Marc, 825 
Lawson, John Howard, 14 5, 
301-2, 616, 717. 
See also Hollywood 
Ten, Unfriendly 
- Action in the North 

Atlantic , 655 
-advice to other writers, 

364-66, 513-16, 535-36 
-"Art Is a Weapon," 57 8, 

-and HUAC, 623, 630-31, 
634, 638-39, 670-75, 
678, 680-81 
-in HUAC testimony of 
others, 650, 664-65, 
- Marching Song , 346, 391 
-in prison, 760, 762, 

770, 776, 783 
-trial and appeal, 722- 
24, 731, 734, 747 
Lawyers Guild, 565, 642, 

League Against War and 

Fascism, 293, 296, 
League for Industrial 

Democracy, 233, 242 
League of American 

Writers, 436-37, 
-and A.M. , 321, 325, 

390, 518 
-and Communist party, 

296, 314, 319 
-first, 404 
-second, 417-18 
-fourth, 486 
-Hollywood branch, 513 
- We Hold These Truths , 

-Writers Don't Want War, 
The," 485 

League of Nations, 227, 291- 

92, 434-35 
League of Women Shoppers, 

Leblang Agency, 155-56 
Lee, Canada, 395, 685-86, 

Lee, Robert E. , 492 
Lees, Robert, 826, 870 
LeGalliene, Eva, 243 
Lehman, Herbert Henry, 456 
Lengyel, Emil 

-"Lindbergh's Tailspin," 
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, 436 
Lenin State Library, Moscow, 

LeRoy, Mervyn, 559, 561 
Lesser, Sol, 698 
Levin, Meyer, 464 

- Citizens , 447 
Levine Cooperage, 591 
Levy, Beryl, 67-68, 99, 119 
Lewis, Allan, 906 
Lewis, Fulton, 707 
Lewis, John L. , 387, 426 
Lewis, Oscar, 699, 908-9 
- Children of Sanchez , The , 
Lewis, Sinclair, 56, 584, 

Lieber, Maxim, 359, 865-66, 

875, 928, 960 
Lieber, Mrs. Maxim, 928 
Liebknecht, Karl, 221 
Life (periodical), 85, 576 
Lincoln, Abraham, 492, 768 
Lincoln Brigade, 263, 428 
Lincoln Center for the Per- 
forming Arts, New 
York City, 234 
Lingg, Louis, 564 
Lippmann, Walter 

- Liberty and the News , 
192-93, 298 
Little, Brown and Company 
(publisher) , 536- 
38, 549, 737, 857, 
865, 873, 937 
Litvinov, , 991 


Litvinov, Maxim Maximovich, 

292, 350, 434, 991 
Livingston, Edward, 610 
Locke, John, 188 
Lockridge, Richard, 164-65 
Loewenstein, Hubertus zu, 

London, Artur 

- Confession , The (book) , 
377, 855, 931. See also 
Confession , The [film) 
London, Jack, 226, 582 
Look (periodical) , 1000 
Lopez Mateos, Adolfo, 907-8 
Los Angeles Times (news- 
paper) , 623, 936-37, 
1000-1002, 1005 
Losey, Joseph, 354, 959 
Lost Weekend , The , 559 
Loy, Myrna, 6 79 
Lufts, Nora 

- Silver Nutmeg , 897 
Lupino, Ida, 527 
Luxemburg, Rosa, 221 
Lyon, James 

- Brecht in America , 337- 

MacArthur, Douglas, 209 
Macauley, Richard, 6 70 
MacDonald, Dwight, 745, 899 
MacLeish, Archibald, 417, 

486, 493, 501, 679- 

Maddow, Ben, 69-70 
Madison Square Garden, New 

York City, 717, 748 
Magil, A. B. , 578 
Magnavox Corporation, 59 2 
Mahler, Anna, 94 3 
Mailer, Norman, 713 

- Naked and the Dead , The , 
Mainstream (periodical) , 

847-48, 858 
Malamud, Bernard, 989 
Malraux, Andre 

- Man's Fate , 100, 482- 

Maltese Falcon , Th^ (film), 

Maltz, Albert 
Articles and essays 

-"Bodies by Fisher," 383 
-"Dies Committee and Anti- 
Semitism, The," 485 
-"Equality is Not Divisi- 
ble," 460 
-"Father Coughlin Stream- 
lines for War," 484-85 
-"Fog Comes in on Little 

Cat Feet, The," 484 
-"Grapes of Wrath Folk," 

-"Labor and Democratic 

Rights," 485 
-"Law Behind McCarthy, 

The," 869 
-"Marching Song," 383 
-"Moving Forward," 574- 

75, 578, 580-81 
-"New Trend in the Ameri- 
can Theater, The," 466 
-"Peace or War, " 460 
-"Slandering the Negro," 

-"Take Your Choice," 485 
-"To All People of Good- 
will," 460 
- We Hold These Truths 

(introduction), 456-58 
-"What Shall We Ask of 
Writers," 570-80, 584 

- Beautiful Maria , The 

(unfinished), 599-600 
- Cross and the Arrow , 
The , 386, 523-39 passim, 
551-52, 572, 855, 857 
-editions, 446-47, 548- 
50, 845, 859, 933, 979, 
-income, 488, 709, 731, 

-proposed screen adapta- 
tions, 550-51, 557-58, 
563, 624, 630, 730-31 
-reviews and comments, 
547-48, 586, 741 


Maltz, Albert 
Novels (continued) 
- Eyewitness Report , 
The (unpublished), 
985, 990-93 
- Johnny Dragoo 
(unfinished), 590, 
- Journey of Simon 
McKeever , The , 
593, 602-4, 606, 
620-21, 627, 709, 
728-29, 741-44 
-adaptations, 730, 
736-40, 754, 859 
- Long Day in a Short 
Life , A, 386, 776, 
824, 847, 851, 857-58 
-editions and rejec- 
tions, 865-66, 872, 
884, 898-99 
-notes for, 781, 803-5 
- Orchestra (unfinished), 

960, 970, 972, 974-75 
- Tale of One January , 

A, 972, 996-97 
- Underground Stream , 
The , 418-20, 441, 466, 
469, 480-83, 859 
-characters and 
research, 276, 380, 
386, 388-90 
-reviews, 480-83 
- Way Things Are , The , 
271, 438-41, 488 

- Black Pit , 261-62, 
274, 405, 408, 411 
-productions, 279- 
82, 290, 307, 326, 
-reviews, 282-89 
- Bury the Dead , 169 
- Merry Go Round , 130, 
132-34, 138-61, 164- 
66, 179, 203, 917 
- Monsieur Victor , 162, 

872, 884, 887, 1000 
"Morrison Case, The," 986 

- Peace on Earth , 179-80, 

188, 232, 244-50, 290, 

486-87, 542 
- Private Hicks , 204, 257, 

306, 326 
- Rehearsal , 43 8 
Political Statements 
-"We Stand Against the 

Inquisitors," 731 
-"Writers Don't Want the 

War, The," 485 

- Act of Violence , The 

(unrealized) , 695-97 
- Beguiled , The , 995 
- Bridge in the Jungle 

(unrealized) , 972-73 , 

- Cloak and Dagger , 567-70 

- Deep Valley (adaptation) , 

526-27, 534 
- Destination Tokyo , 528, 

530-34, 538-39, 592, 752 
- Exodus (unrealized), 912, 

943-44, 946-49, 953 
- Flor de Mayo , 885-87 
- House I Live In , The , 

559, 798 
- Man on Half-Moon Street , 

The (story) , 520-21 
- Moscow Strikes Back , 517, 

- Naked City , The , 627-29, 

697, 709, 710-11, 731, 

754, 855, 975 
- Pride of the Marines , 

328, 535, 539-43, 558-59, 

565, 592, 624, 629, 651 
-and Jack Warner, 543- 
45, 653-55 
- Red House , The , 592-93, 

- Robe , The , 558, 566, 

597-98, 602, 829-31, 

858-60, 869 
- Rurales (project) , 511-12 
- Scalawag , 995 
- Seeds of Freedom , 525. See 

also Eisenstein, Sergei 


Maltz, Albert 
Screenplays (continued) 

- Short Weekend (unrea- 
lized) , 902-4 

- Silver Nutmeg (unrea- 
lized) , 897-98, 902-3, 
909-13, 953, 973-75 

- This Gun for Hire , 494- 
95, 502-6, 509-10, 517, 
521-22, 825 

- Two Mules for Sister 
Sara , 994-95 
Short Stories 

-"Afternoon in the Jun- 
gle," 489 

- Afternoon in the Jun - 
gle (collection) , 1000 

-"Bluegrass Jew, The," 

-"Circus Come to Town," 
746-47, 816 

-"Evening in Modesto," 
595, 709, 716 

-"Game, The," 343-44 

-"Gentleman and His Son, 
A," 466 

-"Good-by," 260, 343-44 

-"Happiest Man on Earth, 
The," 437, 489, 490, 
530, 897 

-"Incident on a Street 
Corner," 344, 4 89 

-"Letter from the Coun- 
try," 26 8 

-"Man on a Road," 272-74, 
344, 407-10, 440, 489, 
785, 855 

-"Piece of Paper, The," 

-"Season of Celebration" 
("Hotel Raleigh, the 
Bowery") , 411, 438-39 

-"Sunday Morning on Twen- 
tieth Street," 478 

-"Whiskey Men, The," 847- 

-"With Laughter," 9 70 

-"Anti-American Con- 
spiracy, The," 739 

-"Books Are on Trial in 

America," 748 
- Citizen Writer , The (col- 
lection) , 682, 729, 816 
- On the Eve of Prison 

(collection) , 761 
-"Writer as the Conscience 
of the People, The," 324, 
616, 620 
Maltz, Bernard (father) , 1- 
3, 5, 8-10, 34-36, 
71, 96-97, 136, 
154-55, 202, 231 
-during A.M.'s childhood, 

11-19, 22, 201 
-illness, 44-47, 49-50, 
55, 57-58, 131-34 
Maltz, Edward (brother) , 8, 
21, 36-37, 42, 46- 
47, 55, 71, 88, 781, 
945, 955 
Maltz, Ernest (brother), 
8, 21, 34, 37-38, 
71, 945 
Maltz, Esther Goldstein 
Engelberg (wife) , 
19, 22, 44, 820, 978 
Maltz, Katherine (daughter), 
501, 546, 694, 903, 
-in Mexico, 829, 837, 853- 

-tour of Europe, 920, 940 
Maltz, Lena Sherry (mother), 
1, 3, 6-7, 14, 56, 
136, 154, 202, 231, 
-during A.M.'s childhood, 

7, 9, 12-13, 17-19, 22 
-and husband's illness, 
49-50, 57-58, 133-34 
Maltz, Margaret Larkin 

(wife), 1, 22, 303-6, 
325, 346-47, 418, 422, 
434, 447, 488, 493, 
499, 525, 545-46, 
564, 762, 903-4 
-and conviction of A.M. , 

-divorce, 9 74 


Maltz, Margaret (continued) 
-illness, 501-2, 519, 

-and incarceration of A, 
M. , 773, 803, 805, 
810, 814, 817 
-in Mexico, 819, 821, 834, 

837-38, 853-54, 862, 889 
-and motion picture 
blacklisting of A.M. , 
693, 708 
- Seven Shares in a Gold 

Mine, 854 
- Six Days of Yad Morde - 
chai , The , 914-15, 960, 
-and Theatre Union, 254, 

-tour of Europe, 913- 

43 passim 
-union publicist, 182, 

234, 304 
-in Washington, D.C., 
with A.M. , 642-43 
Maltz, Maxwell, 451-52 
Maltz, Peter (son), 488, 
493, 501, 516, 
-and A.M. 's HUAC appear- 
ance 693-94, 749-50, 
-in Mexico, 829, 853-54, 
Maltz, Rosemary Wylde 

(wife) , 22, 978 
Maltz (Bernard) family, 34, 

43, 46 
Man for All Seasons , A, 

Mann, Abby, 516 
Mann, Heinrich, 226 
Mann, Thomas, 226, 414, 

679, 726, 855 
Mannix, Edward, 705 
Mantle, Burns, 283-84 
Mao Tun, 859-60 
Marceau, Marcel, 160 
March, Frederic, 679 

Marchuck, , 3 80 

Margie, 624 

Margolis, Ben 

-counsel for A.M., 895- 

96, 912, 946 
-counsel for Unfriendly 
Nineteen, 637-39, 642- 
44, 674, 681, 682, 722, 

Mark Hellinger Theatre, 

New York City, 628 

Mark Taper Forum, 162 

Marmor, Judd, 730 

Marquand, John P., 493, 
538, 728 

Marshall, George, 614 

Martin, Jay, 1001-2 

Martin, John, 740 

Marty, Andre", 5 84 

Marx, Karl, 191 

Masonic Temple, Hollywood, 

Masses (later New Masses , 
periodical) , 83 

Masses and Mainstream (peri- 
odical) , 848 

Massing, Hede (Mrs. Karl 
Billinger) , 416-17 

Maupassant, Guy de, 57, 
412, 419 

Mayer, Louis, B. , 618, 657, 
661-62, 673, 711 

McCall's (periodical) , 206- 

McCarran, Patrick A., 756. 

See also U.S., Inter- 
nal Security Subcom- 
mittee of the Senate 
Judiciary Committee 

McCarthy, Joseph, 472, 610- 
11, 755-56, 808, 855 

McCarthy, Mary, 745 

McDowell, John, 646, 668, 

McGuinness, James K., 619, 
666-67, 670, 705-6 

McKenney, Ruth, 4 86 

- Industrial Valley , 465 
- Love Story , 582 

McKeon, Richard, 78-79 

McNutt, Paul, 644 

McQueen, Steve, 952 


McWilliams, Carey, 518-19, 

726, 731, 739, 829 
- Witch Hunt , 608, 612, 
Medvedev, Roy A. 

- Let History Judge , 301, 
372-73, 422-23, 425, 879 
Meeropol, Abel (pseud. 

Lewis Allan) , 430 
-"House I Live In, The," 

430, 561 
-"Strange Fruit," 430, 
Meeropol, Anne, 4 30, 561 
Meeropol, Michael, 430, 

561, 875 
Meeropol, Robert, 4 30, 

561, 875 
Meikeljohn, Alexander, 712, 

Melville, Herman, 411-12 

- Moby Dick , 411 
Menjou, Adolphe, 619, 661- 

62, 670 
Mercouri, Melina, 943, 979 
Mercury Theatre, 399 
Meredith, Burgess, 715 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) , 

490-91, 502, 661, 

666, 705, 897 
Michener, James, 50 8 
Mildred Pierce , 54 5 
Milestone, Lewis, 550-51, 

558, 623-24, 630, 

701. See also 

Unfriendly Nineteen 
Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 

69, 447, 728 
Miller, Arthur, 161, 740 
Miller, David, 897, 902-4, 

911-13, 953, 973-75 
Miller, Fred R. , 440-41 
Miller, Lauren, 566 
Mission to Moscow , 650, 

Mitchell, John, 811 
Modern Library (publisher) , 

57, 413 
Modigliani, Amedeo, 129-30 

Moffitt, John Charles, 664- 

66, 670 
Mo ley, Raymond, 228 
Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhailo- 

vich, 373 
Monde (newspaper) , 997 
Monogram (film studio), 798, 

Montgomery, Robert, 66 8 
Mooney , Edward, 46 2 
Mooney, Tom, 45 8 
Mora, Francisco, 945 
Morado, Jose Cnavez, 873 
More, Thomas, 15 3 
Morford, Richard, 614 
Morley, Karen, 687, 739, 

826, 870 
Morning Freiheit (newspa- 
per, 396 
Morrison, Philip, 726, 

Morros, Boris, 889-90 
Morse, Wayne, 80 8 
Mortimer, Wyndham, 388 
Mostel, Zero, 295, 713-14, 

Motion Picture Alliance 

for the Preservation 

of American Ideals, 

619, 659-60, 701, 

Motion Picture Association 

of America, 644, 705 
Motley, Willard, 840-42, 

- Knock on Any Door , 840 
Mount Sinai Hospital, New 

York City, 46-47 
Mount Vernon, 764-66 
Mundt, Karl, 955 

-Mundt Bill (later Mundt- 
Nixon Bill) , 717-18 
Muni, Paul, 236 
Murphy, Frank, 381, 385, 

750, 755 
Murphy, George, 66 8 
Mussolini, Benito, 89, 131, 

291, 348 


Na Mac (manufacturing 

company) , 59 2 
Nation (periodical), 123, 
170, 173, 375, 712, 
864, 1001 
-on Father Coughlin, 461- 

-letter from A.M. to, 853 
-on motion picture black- 
list, 738-39 
-on Unfriendly Nineteen, 

663, 708 
-on work by A.M., 548 
National Book Award, 744 
National Committee for 

American and Soviet 
Friendship (NCASF) , 
National Conference of 

Christians and Jews, 
National Farmers Union, 
263, 265-66, 268 
National Guardian (newspa- 
per) , 874 
National Socialist (Nazi) 

party, Germany, 223- 
26, 427, 529 
Navasky, Victor, 1001, 

Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression 

Pact, 210, 295, 469- 
72, 480, 485, 491, 
Neilson, W. A. 

-"Justice for the Foreign- 
born," 465 
Never on Sunday (play) , 979 
New Leader (periodical) , 

233, 577, 832 
New Masses (periodical) , 

170, 218, 415, 440, 
695, 848 
-commissioning and 
publishing writing by 
A.M., 256, 260, 263, 
272-73, 383, 388, 466 
-and "Maltz controversy," 
570-75, 578, 581-82 

-and proletarian litera- 
ture, 361, 407 
-reviews of works by A.M. , 
289, 465 
New Playwrights' Theatre, 

New Republic (periodical) , 
123, 170, 173, 188, 
-and "Maltz controversy," 

-reviews of works by A.M. , 

440, 548, 743 
-as source for Merry Go 
Round , 132 
New School for Social 

Research, 586 
New Statesman and Nation 
(periodical) , 869 
New Theatre League, 3 26 

- New Theatre (periodical) , 
306, 383, 388 
New York Academy of Design, 

New York Committee on Emer- 
gency Civil Liberties, 
New York Daily Mirror (news- 
paper) , 701, 957 
New York Daily News (newspa- 
per) , 283-84 
New York Herald-Tribune , 

(newspaper), 245-46, 
478-79, 547, 669- 
70, 742-43 
New York Journal-American 
(newspaper), 164, 
288, 956-57 
New York Post (newspaper) , 
256, 262, 272, 275, 
409, 459, 462, 712 
-review of Black Pit , 

-review of Way Things Are , 
The , 439 
New York Public Library, 

Lincoln Center, 234, 
New York Sun (newspaper) , 


New York Telegram 



per) , 165, 
York Times (newspaper) 

83, 740, 849, 857 
-A.M.'s subscription, 

794, 798, 827 
-coverage of events in 

USSR, 192-93, 298, 877 
- Magazine , 1001, 1009 
-quotations from, 329, 

738, 807, 955 
-reviews of works by 
A.M., 164, 245, 282-83, 
478, 479-80, 525-26, 
539, 547, 559, 742 
-Solzhenitsyn news item 
and A.M. response, 986- 
-and Wallace presidential 
campaign, 613 
New York Tribune (newspa- 
per) , 439 
New York University, 420-22 
New York World-Telegram 

(newspaper) , 439-40 
New Yorker (periodical) , 

344, 358, 411, 
548, 798 


465, 489, 
Newspaper Guild , 
Newsweek (periodical) 


Niblo, Fred, Jr., 619, 

670, 701 
Niblo, Lori, 701 
Nichols, Dudley, 500 
Nikos, Damigos, 978-80 
Nixon, Richard M. , 646, 
660, 667, 734-35, 
-Mundt-Nixon Bill, 717- 
Nora Bayes Theatre, 391-92 
Norbey (camp) , New Hamp- 
shire, 41 
Norris, Frank, 583 
North, Joseph, 289, 578, 

North Star , 667 
Novick, Sam, 894-97 

Noyola, Benito, 843-46, 908 
Nye, Gerald, 618 

Oak, Liston, 233 

O'Casey, Sean, 299 

Odegard, Peter, 77, 79, 137- 

Odets, 279-80, 404, 415, 
740, 849 
- Waiting for Lefty , 280, 

285, 289, 327, 398 
- Till the Day I Die , 415 
Oenslager, Donald, 107 
O'Flaherty, Liam, 100, 412 
0' Henry Memorial Award, 4 38 
0' Henry Memorial Award Prize 

Stories , 437, 754 
Olivier, Lawrence 

- Othello , 160 
One-Act Play (periodical) , 

O'Neill, Eugene, 100, 102, 
109-10, 112, 126, 
142, 283, 286-87, 
445, 583, 713, 728 
- Mourning Becomes Electra , 

- Hairy Ape , The , 283 
- Emperor Jones , The , 283 
Oppenheimer, J, Robert, 263 
Orlova, Raya, 933-36 
Ornitz, Samuel, 623, 630-31, 
634, 692, 717, 780, 
783. See also Holly- 
wood Ten, Unfriendly 

Pachelbel, Johann 

-Canon in D, 413 
Palance, Jack, 886 
Palmer, Alexander Mitchell, 

Paramount Pictures, 165-68, 

494, 502, 510, 518, 

519-20, 522, 526, 534 
-theater chain, 561 
Parker, Dorothy, 431, 460, 

713-14. 727 


Parks, Larry, 623, 630- 
31, 635, 701-2, 
825. See also 
Unfriendly Nine- 
Parkway Gardens , New York 

City, 35 
Parsons, Louella, 641, 707 
Patchen, Kenneth, 404 
Paul Kohner Agency, 89 7, 

Pauling, Linus, 714 
Paxton, John, 599-601 

- Crossfire , 599, 601 
"Peat Bog Soldiers, The," 

Peck, Gregory, 679 
Pegler, Westbrook, 707 
Pelley, William Dudley, 

People's World (newspaper) , 

430, 857 
Pepper, George, 597 
Perlin, Marshall, 874-75 
Peters, Paul, 213, 233, 302 
- Stevedore , 250, 254, 

277, 287, 396, 398, 685 
- Wharf Nigger , 250 
- Parade , 252-53, 398 
- Mother (adaptation), 303, 
Phi Beta Kappa, 90 
Philadelphia Textile, 36 
Picasso, Pablo, 129 
Pichel, Irving, 623, 630- 
31, 701. See also 
Unfriendly Nineteen 
Pilsudski, Joseph, 760 
Pinero, Arthur Wing, 104 
Pinker, Barbara Bennett 
(Mrs. Eric) , 138 
Pinker, Eric, 138-39 
Pinker-Morrison Agency, 

Pirandello, Luigi 

- Right You Are If You 
Think You Are , 9 9 
Piscator, Erwin, 586 
Plato, 62, 71 

Pocket Book of O'Henry Prize 
Stories , The , 869 

Pohlenz, Peter, 529 

Political Affairs (period- 
ical) , 317 

Polonsky, Abraham, 826 

Poperov, Urey, 893 

Popper, Martin, 642-44, 

Porter, William, 548 

Pound, Ezra, 69 

Powell, Richard, 1005 

Powers, Tom, 240 

Pozner, Ida (Mrs. Vladimir), 963 

Pozner, Vladimir, 963 

Precedent , 141-42 

Preminger, Ingo, 912, 953, 

Preminger, Otto, 912, 943- 
44, 946-49, 952 

Prescott, Orville, 547 

Presley, Elvis, 901 

Pressman, Lee, 643-44, 719- 

Preuss, Hugo, 226 

Pride of the Yankees , 541 

Producers Association. See 
Motion Picture Asso- 
ciation of America 

Producers Steering Commit- 
tee, 711 

Progressive Citizens of 

America, 615, 641, 714 
-Arts, Sciences, and Pro- 
fessions Committee, 596- 
97, 614, 714, 726, 739- 
40, 745, 760, 769 
-Conference on Thought 
Control in the United 
States, 615-17, 620, 

Proletarian Literature in 
the United States , 

Prospect Park, New York 
City, 39 

Proust, Marcel, 226 

Provincetown Players, 142 

Provincetown Playhouse, 
142, 155, 164 

PS [Public School] 92, New 
York City, 26-27 



Since 1939, 



RKO Pictures, 561, 595, 
598, 601, 684, 

Rabi, Isidor, 850 

Rabinowitz, Victor, 904 

Rackin, Martin, 697 

Radio Free Europe, 9 88 

Rand, Ayn, 619, 6 70 

Rankin, John, 613-14, 617, 
620, 624-25, 632-33, 
646, 761. See HUAC 

Rathenau, Walther, 226 

Reader's Digest (period- 
ical) , 576 

Reagan, Ronald, 668, 832 

Realistic Theatre, Prague, 

Recht, Charles, 123-24 

Red Channels , 736 

Red Cross, 927 

Reeve, Carl, 289 

Remarque, Erich Maria, 2 26 

Return of a Man Called 
Horse , The , 152 

Reuther, Victor, 384 

Reuther, Walter, 384, 

Revere, Anne, 826, 870 

Revueltas, Rosaura, 856 

Rice, Elmer, 236, 307-8, 
344, 715, 810 
- Street Scene , 244 

Richmond, Al 

- Long View from the Left , 
A, 186-87, 277, 553-54, 

Rinaldo, Fred, 870 

Rivera, Diego, 324, 834-35, 
864, 872-73, 899- 

Rivera, Guadalupe, 901-2 

Rivera, Ruth, 901-2 

Road to Life , 194-95 

Robe , The , 557-59, 829-31, 
858-59, 869 

Robeson, Eslanda (Mrs. 

Paul) , 941 
Robeson, Paul, 278, 430, 
560, 565, 617, 
713-14, 735-36, 
748, 763, 904, 940- 
Robinson, Earl, 918, 941 
-"Lonesome Train, The," 

429-30, 560-61 
-"Ballad for Americans," 

430, 560-61 
-"House I Live In, The," 
430, 559 
Robinson, Edward C. , 524, 
593, 679, 683, 699, 
713, 752-53, 762, 
Robinson, Jackie, 718 
Robson, Mark, 50 6 
Rogers, Ginger, 668 
Rogers, Lela, 668-69 
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 549 
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 
145, 302, 350-51, 
553, 612, 632 
-elected president, 177, 

196, 228 
-labor legislation during 

presidency, 259, 261 
-Lend-Lease program, 475, 

485, 486 
-and the New Deal, 185, 

210, 229, 397, 632 , 
-policy on Spanish civil 

war, 432-33, 473-74 
-presidential campaign 
(1944) , 552 
Roosevelt Hotel, 725 
Rorty, James, 187 
Rosenberg, Ethel, 430, 561, 
751, 806, 836, 850- 
51, 856, 873-75 
Rosenberg, Julius, 430, 561, 
751, 806, 836, 850- 
51, 856, 873-75 
Rosenwein, Sam, 642-44 
Ross, Frank, 557-59, 561 
597-98, 829-31 


Rossen, Robert, 550-51, 
558, 623-24, 630, 
650, 701. See also 
Unfriendly Nineteen 

Rosten, Leo, 22 

Rostropovich, Mstislav, 988 

Rousseau, Louise, 871 

Rubio, Olallo, 885 

Rugoff, Milton, 742 

Rukeyser, Muriel, 404, 486 

Rushmore, Howard, 66 8, 6 70 

Russell, Bertrand, 712 

Rutgers University, 251 
-Press, 235, 251 

Rutledge, Wiley, 750, 755 

Ryan, Joseph, 276 

Ryan, Robert, 679 

Ryskind, Morrie, 236, 619, 

St. John, Theodore, 511, 

St. Louis (ship) , 529 
Salt, Waldo, 623, 630, 826. 
See also Unfriendly 
Salt of the Earth , 855-56 
Salzman, Jack, 461-62, 
- Albert Maltz , 1014 
Sanger, Margaret, 226 
Santayana, George, 62, 64, 

78, 79, 118 
Sarah Lawrence College, 

Sartre, Jean Paul, 80 
Saturday Evening Pos t (peri- 
odical) , 488, 576, 
831-32, 852-53 
Saturday Review of Litera - 
ture (periodical) , 
577, 579, 728, 801 
Saxton, Alexander, 406 

Schalike, , 917 

Schary, Dore, 595, 601, 
684, 689, 705-6, 
Schmid, Al, 539, 540, 543- 

Schneider, Isidor 

-"Probing Writers' Prob- 
lems," 570, 578 
-"Background to Error," 
Schnitzler, Arthur, 226 
Schnur, Paul, 73 2 
Scholastic (periodical) , 

Schubert, Franz 

-Quartet no. 13, 1014 
Schulberg, Budd, 713-14, 
- What Makes Sammy Run , 
365-66, 826 
Schwartz, Leo, 459 
Scofield, Paul, 125, 128, 

Scott, Adrian, 728-30, 

736, 1013. See also 
Hollywood Ten, 
Unfriendly Nineteen 
-and Crossfire , 371, 598- 

-and HUAC, 623, 630-31, 

-and motion picture black- 
list, 867, 1005-6 
-as one of Hollywood Ten, 
691, 693-94, 703, 709, 
717, 762, 783 
Screen Actors Guild, 641, 

Screen Directors Guild, 

659, 673 
Screen Writers Guild, 494, 
504, 514, 565, 641, 
-in HUAC testimony, 669, 

673, 675-76 
-and motion picture black- 
list, 705-7, 824, 831, 
Scribner 's (periodical) , 

Seabury, Samuel, 145 
Secret Convent (museum) , 

Puebla, Mexico, 881- 


Seeger, Pete, 429, 876 
Seghers, Anna, 359, 823 
Selznick, David 0. , 698 
Serbsky Institute, USSR, 

Serlin, Oscar, 168-69 
Servetus , Michael, 748 
- On the Errors of the 
Trinity , 748 
Shakespeare, William, 75 
Shannon, David 

- Decline of American 
Communism , The, 579 
Shapley, Harlow, 597, 

614, 731, 769-70 
Shaw, Irwin, 486, 650 
- Bury the Dead , 169 
Sheean, Vincent, 417 
Shere, Richard, 623 
Sherry, (grand- 
mother) , 4 , 12 , 
14, 22, 49, 71 
Sherry, Ada (aunt) , 4-6 
Sherry, Bertha (aunt) , 4-5 
Sherry, May (aunt), 4-5, 

93-94, 96, 194 
Sherry, John B. (pseud. 

for A.M. ) , 898 
Sherry, Sadie (aunt) , 4-5 
Sherwood, Robert, 728 

- Idiot's Delight , 398 
Shirer, William, 615 
- Rise and Fall of the 
Third Reich , The , 226, 
Shlafrock, Max, 894-97 
Shoreham Hotel, Washington, 
D.C., 642-43, 674, 
Short Stories from the New 

Yorker , 489 
Shrine Auditorium, 641 
Shumlin, Herman, 281 

Siders, , 261-62 

Siders, Fred, 261, 286 
Sillcox, Louise, 596 
Sillen, Sam, 575, 858 
-"Which Way Left-wing 
Literature?" 572, 578 

-"Better Politics and Bet- 
ter Art," 578 
-"Basis of Social 
Realism," 578 
Silone, Ignazio 

- Fontamara , 344-45 
Silva, Julian (pseud, for 

A.M. ) , 970 
Simmons, Michael, 730 
Simon, Neil, 509 
Simon & Schuster (publisher) 

Simone, Andre. See Katz, 

Sinatra, Frank, 559, 561, 
563, 613, 679, 949- 
50, 952-59 
Sinclair, Robert, 244 
Sinclair, Upton, 226 
Sing Sing, 28, 95, 139 
Sinyavsky, Andrei, 936, 

Siqueiros, David Alfaro, 

324, 833-35 
Sklar, George, 281, 302, 
458, 493-94, 495, 
814, 827, 912 
-in Chicago and Las Vegas 

with A.M. , 170-79 
-friendship with A.M., 
120, 130, 169, 170, 179 

-in Hollywood with 
165-68, 207 

-and Theatre Union, 

-Merry Go Round, 

A.M. , 
, 233 

138-61, 164-66, 

203, 917 
-Parade, 252-53, 
-Peace on Earth, 




179-80, 188, 231, 244- 
50, 290, 486-87 
-Stevedore, 250, 254, 

277, 287, 396, 398, 685 
Skouras, Spyros, 738 
Slansky, Rudolf, 377, 415, 

587, 855 
Slaves , 1007 
Slovik, Eddie, 950-52 


Small, Berthe, 864 
Small, Charles, 864 
Smith, Bernard, 616 
Smith, Gerald L, K. , 456 

566, 613 
Smith, Harold J., 870, 

- Defiant Ones , The , 

Smith, Lillian 
- Strange Fruit , 

Sobell, , 907 

Sobell, Helen (Mrs. 

Morton) , 906-7 
Sobell, Morton, 874-75, 

Social Justice (period- 
ical) , 457, 462 
Socialist International, 

Socialist party, Austria, 

Socialist party, Germany, 

221-25, 422-23 
Socialist party, France, 

Socialist party, Hungary, 

Socialist party, Italy, 

Socialist party, United 

Kingdom, 423 
Socialist party, U.S.A., 

233, 716 
-Workers Alliance, 176 
Sokolsky, George, 707, 

Soldier* Field, Chicago, 

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr, 

300, 935, 983-90, 

- Cancer Ward , 983 
- First Circle , The , 935 
- Gulag Archipelago , The , 

-1914, 983 

- One Day in the Life of 
Ivan Denisovich , 935, 
983, 986 
Sondergaard, Gale (Mrs, 

Herbert Biberman) , 
691, 759, 826, 870, 
-"On the Eve of Prison," 
Soul of Russia , 667 
Southern Review (periodical) , 

Southwest Review (period- 
ical) , 970 
-John McGinnis Memorial 
Award, 970 
Spellman, Francis, 461 
Spencer, Herbert, 188 
Spenser, Edmund, 75 

- Faerie Queene , The , 75 
Sperling, Milton, 567-69 
Spiegel, John, 546, 556 
Stalin, Joseph, 221, 224, 
226, 422-23, 425, 
427-28, 714, 834, 
855, 879, 934, 982 
-and Moscow show trials, 

372-74, 929 
-at Teheran conference, 
Stander, Lionel, 826, 870 
Stanford University, 1001 
Steel , 151 

Steffens, Lincoln, 193 
Steinbeck, John, 437, 582, 
713, 728 
- Grapes of Wrath , The , 
287, 712 
Stern, Alfred, 887-91 
Stern, Bernard, 763-64 
Stern, Charlotte (Mrs. 

Bernard) , 763-64 
Stern, Martha Dodd (Mrs. 
Alfred), 887-91 
- Through Embassy Eyes , 

Stevenson, , 593-94, 

602-4, 606 


Stevenson, Philip [pseud, 
Lars Lawrence] , 
640, 730, 862, 1013 
- Transit , 438 

Stewart, Donald Ogden, 464, 

Stewart, Paul, 886 

Stockholm Peace Petition, 

Stoker, Bram 

- Dracula , 57-58 

Stone, I. F. , 256, 768-69, 
- Hidden History of the 
Korean War , The , 769 

Stop Censorship Committee, 

Story (periodical) , 411 

Story of G.I. Joe , The , 546 

Strasberg, Lee, 131, 396 

Strauss, Harold, 478 

Strindberg, August, 99, 

100, 104, 109, 112 

Stripling, Robert A., 647, 
654-55, 658, 661-62, 
671-72, 675-76, 683, 

Stuart, Malcolm, 979 

Sullivan, Elliott, 870, 876 

Sundial (publishing com- 
pany) , 549 

Sz^keley, Elizabeth 

("Erzi"), 849, 

Sz^kely, J^nos (pseud. John 
Pen) , 198, 847, 919 
- Temptation , 198, 847 

Sz£kely, Kathy, 847, 919-20 

Tammany Hall, New York 

City, 146, 154 
Taub, Walter, 926 
Taylor, Karen Malpede 
- People's Theatre in 
Amerika , 235 
Taylor, Robert, 667-68, 955 
Taylor, Telford, 750, 829 

- Grand Inquest , 612 
Tel Aviv University, 963, 

Terezin (Concentration camp) , 

Czechoslovakia, 927 
Theater Arts Committee 
(TAC) , 210, 295 
Theatre Guild, 99, 233, 240, 
251-53, 286, 395, 
397-99, 702 
Theatre of Action, 251, 398 
Theatre Union, 144, 213, 314, 
327, 390-97, 469 
-advisory board, 235-36 
-aims and policies, 180, 

237-43, 401 
-A.M. 's involvement, 128, 

321, 324-25 
-debts, 391-92 
-Executive Board, 232-34, 

274, 346, 369 
-histories of, 235, 251- 

52, 397, 402 
-political orientation, 

253, 339, 400, 425-26 

- Bitter Stream , 344-45 
- Black Pit , 279, 281-82, 

286, 288, 290 
- Marching Song , 346, 

- Mother , 303, 330-43, 

344, 402, 642-43 
- Peace on Earth , 23 2, 

- Sailors of Cattaro , 279 
- Stevedore , 254-55, 277- 
78, 685 
-records archive, 234, 


-Civic Repertory Theatre, 

243, 345, 391-92, 976 
-Nora Bayes Theatre, 

- Waiting for Lefty per- 
formance, 2 80 
This Fabulous Century , 184- 

Thomas, Norman, 712, 714 
Thomas, Parnell 

-and felony conviction, 
685, 783 


Thomas, Parnell (continued) 
-HUAC, 620, 761 

-film industry investi- 
gation, executive ses- 
sion (1947) , 618 
-film industry investi- 
gation, open session 
(1947) , 625, 644, 646, 
648-50, 654, 661, 669- 
73, 675, 677, 682, 684 
Thompson, Dorothy, 458, 464 
Thompson, Ralph, 479-80 
Thompson, Robert, 571-72 
Thoreau, Henry David, 322 
Three Hen on a Horse , 23 8 
Timberman, Elizabeth, 861- 

Time (periodical), 773, 

892-94, 988 
Tobias, George, 244 
Togliatti, Palmiro, 878 
Toller, Ernst 

- Masse Mensch , 110 
Tolstoy, Leo, 8, 48 

- Kreutzer Sonata , The , 8 
- War and Peace , 285-86, 
Tomorrow the World , 56 5 
Town Hall, New York City, 

Traven, Bruno (pseud. Hal 
Croves) , 861-64 
- Bridge in the Jungle , 

- Rebellion of the Hanged , 
The , 861 
Travis, Robert, 388 
Tree, Dorothy, 870 
Trent, Eric (pseud, for A. 

M.) , 154-55 
Trilling, Diana, 548 
Trilling, Steve, 656 
Trinity Church, New York 

City, 177 
Trotsky, Leon, 572, 834 
Truman, Harry, 588, 614, 
685, 718, 719, 751 
-and loyalty review and 
oath, 607-8, 610-12, 
615, 711 

-Truman Doctrine, 606, 616 
-vice-presidential cam- 
paign (1944) , 553 
Trumbo, Cleo (Mrs, Dalton) , 

Trumbo, Dalton (pseud, 

Robert Rich) , 329, 
703, See also Holly- 
wood Ten, Unfriendly 
- Additional Dialogue , 329, 

- Brave Bulls , The , 897 
- Exodus , 948-49, 952 
-and HUAC, 623, 630, 634, 

676, 678, 681 
-in HUAC testimony of 

others, 650, 661, 850 
-Laurel Award address and 

controversy, 1002-13 
- Lonely Are the Brave , 897 
-and motion picture black- 
list, 691-94, 871, 876- 
- Papillon , 1012 
-in prison, 760, 762, 770, 

776, 783, 811 
- Spartacus , 902-3 
- Thirty Seconds over Tokyo , 

- Time of the Toad , 75 3, 

-trial and appeal, 722, 
734, 747 
Tugwell, Rexford Guy, 228 
Tuttle, Frank, 494-95, 502- 
6, 509, 522, 713-14, 
Turgenev, Ivan, 8 
Twentieth Century-Fox, 737- 

38, 742, 830 
Twenty Thousand Leagues 
under the Sea , 4 8 

Unemployed Councils, 176-78, 
181, 209, 211-18, 
241, 260, 380 

Unfriendly Nineteen, 341, 

622-26, 630-31, 633- 
85, 701, 704, 826, 827. 


Unfriendly Nineteen (con- 
tinued) . See also 
Bessie, Alvah; 
Biberman, Herbert; 
Brecht, Bertolt; 
Cole, Lester; Col- 
lins, Richard; 
Dmytryk, Edward; 
Kahn, Gordon; Koch, 
Howard; Lardner, 
Ring, Jr.; Lawson, 
John Howard; Mile- 
stone, Lewis; 
Ornitz, Sam; Parks, 
Larry; Pichel, 
Irving; Ross en, 
Robert; Salt, Waldo; 
Scott, Adrian; 
Trumbo, Dalton 
-"Freedom of the Screen 
from Political Intimida- 
tion and Censorship," 
624-25, 630 
-wives, 6 42 
Unfriendly Ten, 630, 639, 

670. See also Holly- 
wood Ten 
Union College, 467 

-Mohawk Drama Festival 
Bulletin, 466 
Union of Soviet Socialist 

Republics, 192-96 
United Artists, 70, 897, 

902, 944, 975 
United Mine Workers, 426 
United States of America 
-Alien and Sedition laws, 

-Constitution, 632, 640- 

41, 677, 680, 827-29 
-Freedom of Information 

Act, 735 
-McCarran Act, 772, 807, 

-Smith Act, 715 
-executive branch 

-Central Intelligence 
Agency, 899 

-correctional institu- 
tions of 
-Ashland, Kentucky, 

783, 787, 810 
-Danbury, Connecticut, 

-Mill Point, West 
Virginia, 784-806, 
808-19, 824 
-Springfield, Mis- 
souri, 783 
-Texarkana, Texas, 783 
-Federal Bureau of Inves- 
tigation. See FBI 
-Justice, Department of, 

717, 748 
-Pentagon, 556 
-Public Health Service, 

-Special Services, Office 

of, 567-68 
-State, Department of, 
808, 844, 894, 904, 957 
-embassy in Mexico, 
844-46, 874, 906 
-Subversive Activities 

Control Board, 718 
-WPA, 185, 228, 603 
-Federal Theater Pro- 
ject, 307-8, 399 
-War Information, Office 
of, 553 
-judicial branch 

-Court of Appeals, 734, 

747, 850 
-Supreme Court, 633, 
676, 747, 750, 753, 
755-57, 759, 904 
-legislative branch, 631- 
33, 722 
- Congressional Record , 

624, 687-88 
-House of Representa- 
tives, 610, 687-88, 
-contempt citations 
for Hollywood Ten, 
687-89, 690-91, 709 
-Un-American Activities, 
Committee on. See HUAC 


United States of America 

-Internal Security 
Subcommittee of the 
Senate Judiciary 
Committee, 756, 889 
-Permanent Subcommit- 
tee on Investigations 
of the Senate Com- 
mittee on Government 
Operations, 756 
U.S. Steel, Gary, Indiana, 

Universal Pictures, 165, 

551, 977 
University of California, 

713, 1001 
University of Colorado, 173 
-Writing Conference in the 
Rocky Mountains, 466-6 8, 
University of Washington, 

University of Wisconsin 
-Center for Film and 
Theatre Research, 400 
Urey, Harold, 850-51 
Uris, Leon 

- Exodus , 943-44, 947-49 

Vail, Richard B., 646 
Van Doren, Carl, 84-85, 

467, 728 
Van Doren, Charles, 86-87 
Van Doren, Mark, 69, 84-87, 

Vansittart, Nicholas, 523 
Variety . See Daily Variety 
Vaughn, Robert 

- Only Victims , 100 8 
Vidal Gore, 116, 508 
Voice of America (radio 

transmission), 676, 

Voice of Liberty, 988 
Von Auw, Ivan, 866 
Voyage of the Damned , 529 
Vrba, Frantistek, 926-27 

Wald, Jerry, 498, 503, 

530-32, 535, 539- 
45, 565 
Wald, Malvin, 627, 710-11, 

Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New 
York City, 688, 690, 
706, 745 
Walker, Charles Rumford, 

180, 232-33, 242 
Walker, James J., 145-47 
Wall Street Journal (news- 
paper) , 234 
Wallace, Henry, 612-13, 

617, 685-86, 712-14 
Walstad, Julius, 265-66, 

Walstad, Knut, 265-68 
Walter, Francis, E., 850 
Walters, Barbara, 811 
Wanger, Walter, 705-6 
Warner, Jack, 656, 689-90 
-and Pride of the Marines , 

543-45, 565 
-testimony before HUAC, 
618, 650-55, 657, 661, 
Warner Brothers, 503, 522, 556 
561, 629, 690, 752 
-employment of A.M., 545, 
-on Deep Valley , 526-27, 

-on Pride of the Marines , 
539, 541, 565 
-in Jack Warner's HUAC 
testimony, 650-51, 655-57 
Warren, Robert Penn, 487, 

501, 989 
Washington, George, 619, 

764-67, 801 
Washington, D.C., jail, 

772-83, 803 
Washington Post (newspaper) , 

704, 985 
Wasserman, Jakob, 226 
Wasserstrom, Dounia, 970- 

72, 996-97 
Wayne, John, 619, 955 


Weaver, Raymond, 411 
Weill, Kurt, 237 
Weinstone, William, 381- 

Weiskopf, Frank, 414-15 


- Time for Decision , 4 33 
Welles, Orson, 399 
Wells, H. G., 226 
Went, Frits, 726 
Westminster College, Mis- 
souri, 588 
Wexley, John, 404, 650, 826 
- Judgment of Julius and 
Ethel Rosenberg , The , 
754-55, 873-74 
- Short Weekend , 902 
- They Shall Not Die , 251- 
52, 398, 418 
Wheeler, Burton, 618 
Whicher, George F. , 547 
White, Charles, 129 
White, Walter 

"End Lynching," 465 
Who's Who in America , 800- 

Wiesel, Elie, 964 
Wiggin, Ella May, 182 
Wilde, Cornel, 746-47 
Wilder, Thornton, 493 
Williams, Jay 

- Stage Left , 235, 399 
Williams, Tennessee, 161 
Willkie, Wendell, 87, 618, 

Willner, George, 694-95, 

953, 959-60 
Wills, Garry 

-introduction, Scoundrel 
Time , 577, 584 
Wilson, Edmund, 188, 236 
Wilson, Michael, 703, 856, 
871, 972 
- Place in the Sun , A, 871 
- Five Fingers , 872 
- Friendly Persuasion , 872 
Wilson, Woodrow, 227 
Winchell, Walter, 531, 719 



Winters, Shelley, 726-27 
Wirin, Al , 566 
Wolf, Friedrich 

- Sailors of Cattaro , 279 
290, 396 
Wolfe, Thomas, 102, 483, 582 
- Look Homeward, Angel , 419 
Wolfson, Martin, 244 
Wolfson, Victor, 335, 344, 
- Bitter Stream , 344-45 
Wood, John S., 646, 666-67. 

See also HUAC 
Wood, Sam, 619, 657-61, 670 
Wouk, Herman, 837-40 

- Caine Mutiny , The , 838 
Wouk (Herman) family, 837- 

Wright, Richard, 393-94, 

404, 437, 486, 580- 
- Native Son , 484 
- Black Boy , 565 
Writers Guild of America. 
See Screen Writers 
-Laurel Award, 1002-4, 
1008, 1010 
Writer's Union of the USSR, 

360, 957, 984 
Wyler, William, 640 

Yad Mordechai, Israel, 914 
Yale University, 763 

-Drama, School of, 98-110, 
117-19, 130, 166 
Young, Art, 9 76 
Young, Ned, 870, 972 
Young Communist League, 124 

Zanuck, Darryl, 738, 830, 

Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, 

Columbia University, 

Zinoviev, , 301, 372- 

Zola, Emile, 226, 238, 323- 

24, 372 


Zumwalt, Elmo, 292 
Zweig, Arnold, 226 
Zweig, Stefan, 226 


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